2024年3月28日 星期四

Britain’s Largest Steel Mill to Become Greener, at a Cost of Jobs 英國最大鋼鐵廠將更環保 代價是裁員

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2024/03/29 第478期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Britain's Largest Steel Mill to Become Greener, at a Cost of Jobs 英國最大鋼鐵廠將更環保 代價是裁員
Crisis on Border Dashes Biden Immigration Hopes 邊界人潮湧現 粉碎拜登移民政策願景
Britain's Largest Steel Mill to Become Greener, at a Cost of Jobs 英國最大鋼鐵廠將更環保 代價是裁員
文/Stanley Reed

英國最大鋼鐵廠將更環保 代價是裁員

Tata Steel said Friday that it planned to shut down the blast furnaces at Britain's largest steel mill, in Port Talbot, Wales, and replace them with an electric furnace — a move that would cut carbon emissions but could cost 2,800 jobs.


The company, part of the India-based Tata conglomerate, says the steel mill, much of which dates back to the 1950s, has frequently lost money.


"The course we are putting forward is difficult, but we believe it is the right one," the company's CEO, T.V. Narendran, said in a statement. "We must transform at pace to build a sustainable business in the U.K. for the long term." He said Tata had invested almost 5 billion pounds (about $6 billion) in the British business since 2007, when Tata bought the mill.


Last year, the British government offered 500 million pounds in support of Tata's plan, which has an estimated price tag of up to 1.25 billion pounds.


Although the announcement was not a surprise, unions representing workers at the plant said they were angry that their proposals to save jobs had been rejected. The plant, one of only two big steel mills left in Britain, employs around 4,000 people, and it was unclear how many of the job cuts would take place at Port Talbot; Tata employs around 8,000 people in Britain.


"It is an absolute disgrace that Tata Steel, and the U.K. government, appear intent on pursuing the cheapest instead of the best plan for our industry, our steelworkers and our country," two unions, Community and GMB, said in a statement.


Tata wants to replace much of the current operation, which uses coal to extract iron from ore, with an electric furnace that makes steel by melting scrap metal in a blaze of sparks. Electric steel-making, which is more common in the United States than in Europe, tends to employ fewer workers.


Tata says the shift would ensure that steel-making continued at the site while cutting greenhouse gas emissions at the plant by 85% and Britain's overall emissions by 1.5%.


Crisis on Border Dashes Biden Immigration Hopes 邊界人潮湧現 粉碎拜登移民政策願景
文/Michael D. Shear, Hamed Alea

邊界人潮湧現 粉碎拜登移民政策願景

On President Joe Biden's first day in office, he paused nearly all deportations. He vowed to end the harsh practices of the Trump administration, show compassion toward those wishing to come to the United States and secure the southern border.


For Biden, it was a matter of principle. He wanted to show the world that the United States was a humane nation, while also demonstrating to his fellow citizens that government could work again.


But those early promises have largely been set aside as chaos engulfs the border and imperils Biden's reelection hopes. The number of people crossing into the United States has reached record levels, more than double than in the Trump years. The asylum system is still all but broken.


During his campaign for the White House in 2020, Biden pledged to limit raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, invest in the asylum system and close private immigration prisons.


When children from Central America started crossing by the thousands in spring 2021, the president's first instinct was compassion. Biden believed he was elected to deal with immigration in a humane manner.


Some of the circumstances that have created the crisis are out of Biden's control, such as the collapse of Venezuela, a surge in migration around the world and the obstinance of Republicans who have tried to thwart his efforts to address the problems.


Biden went from a 2020 candidate who vowed to "end Trump's assault on the dignity of immigrant communities" to a 2024 president who is "willing to make significant compromises on the border."


The people demanding border security were no longer just Republicans. They were members of Biden's own party.


The administration scrambled to meet the Democratic demands, providing more money and speeding up the processing of work permits.


But the busing of migrants clearly shifted the discourse around the issue. And polling began to show growing support in the United States for border measures once denounced by Democrats and championed by Trump.


As he campaigns for a second term in the White House, Biden has become unapologetic in his calls for more, and stricter, enforcement at the border. He now appears ready to run more as a leader determined to keep people out and less as a champion of displaced people.



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