Tata in talks over steel plants sale
A possible buyer has emerged for under-threat Clydebridge and Dalzell steel plants.
But it is still unclear if any deal would be enough to save them.
Tata Steel is in exclusive talks to sell its Long Products business to venture capital firm, Greybull Capital.
The business includes the Clydebridge plant in Cambuslang and Dalzell in Motherwell which are to be mothballed with the loss of 270 jobs.
But unions have warned that Greybull’s business plan does not include the Scots plants.
Steve McCool, national officer at steelworkers’ union Community, said the prospect of a deal with Greybull would not necessarily guarantee the Lanarkshire plants’ future.
He said the venture capital firm’s business plan did not include work carried out at the Scottish plants.
Mr McCool said that a Scottish-only business model had been put forward by the unions which showed both plants were viable.
The union’s general secretary, Roy Rickhuss, welcomed the interest from Greybull but said “the devil will be in the detail”.
He said: “It is clear from today’s announcement that any future for the Dalzell and Clydebridge mills in Scotland will be with a different investor.
Margaret Ferrier MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West gave the development a cautious welcome.
“The news coming from Tata over the last few days has been positive,” she said.
“While this development is welcome, the discussions between Greybull Capital and Tata are still at a very early stage.”
Scottish Labour’s James Kelly said he has been invited to a briefing next Tuesday at the Scottish Parliament to discuss the situation.
“The SNP government should provide absolute clarity as soon as possible over the long-term future of the plants and raise the issue with the proposed buyer as a matter of urgency,” he said.
“I will certainly be pressing for this at the briefing.”
Scotland’s Business Minister Fergus Ewing said: “While the development is potentially welcome, the agreement between Tata Steel and Greybull Capital is still at a very early stage and there can be no guarantees it will proceed - or that it will lead to a secure future for jobs at the plants involved.
“I am seeking an early meeting to determine the precise implications for production and jobs at the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants.”