National Trade Union Steel Co-ordinating Committee
Joint statement of the European trade unions - 7 December 2017
Earlier this year, Tata Steel announced their intention to merge with thyssenkrupp. Since that time Community, Unite and GMB have been working closely with our industry experts to understand exactly what this could mean for our members. We have always said that our attitude towards the merger will be determined by the details of the plan and in particular the impact on UK jobs, production, and investment.
Throughout the huge challenges of the past few years, the steel unions have always called for Tata to act as a responsible owner of our proud industry. Companies come and go, but the workers and the local communities remain, and their long term future must be safeguarded.
Following discussions with other trade unions across Europe - from Germany, Holland, France, Spain and Belgium - a set of joint demands have now been set out, which all unions agree must be met before any definitive agreement between Tata and thyssenkrupp is signed.
These demands are:
- Immediate disclosure of and full transparency on the intended joint venture’s plan, including the industrial, social and financial implications on the long-term.
- No job cuts, but a 10-year guarantee from both companies to commit on the future of jobs, sites, investments and production levels of steel in Europe.
- The respect of workers’ rights to information, consultation and participation on the envisaged plan before the agreement is signed by the two companies; as well as the safeguard of our high-level standards of social dialogue, including co-determination, in the future.
The UK steel unions will be meeting with colleagues from across Europe again soon to assess the situation, and to discuss what further action can be taken should Tata and thyssenkrupp fail to meet these demands.
#Update# British steel pension - time to choose meetings #Update#
Save Our Steel
The UK’s steel industry is in crisis. Our steel jobs could be lost unless the government acts now to save it.
It’s vital we keep up the fight to save jobs – and save our steel.
Let’s make our voices heard.
Back the #SaveOurSteel campaign
Over 5,000 steel jobs could be gone in the space of weeks and the entire industry, which employs 30,000 people, could be gone in a year.
The light on Redcar, the steel mill that produced the steel for Sydney Harbour bridge, has been snuffed out. When Tata’s Motherwell and Cambuslang plants shut it will it will be the first time since the industrial revolution that no furnace has operated in Scotland. With 900 jobs at Tata in Scunthorpe set to go and Caparo Industries in administration the industry is at crisis point.
The communities that rely on these plants will not recover. Local towns have already been hit hard by cutbacks at plants. The government cannot continue to sit back and do nothing. It needs to act and it needs to act now.
The steel and metals industry delivers £95bn of the country’s GDP, an estimated £12bn in taxes and levies and £7bn in wages and NI contributions to the exchequer. A flood of Chinese subsidised steel is being dumped on the market sending global prices tumbling and fuelling the crisis.
The government must stop sitting on its hands and act now to stop the steel meltdown and save our steel.
Four things the government must do now:
- Cut business rates for the steel industry immediately with a fairer system of valuation.
- Give the steel industry a break from green taxes and high energy bills.
- Take urgent action to stop the dumping of cheap Chinese steel.
- Make a commitment to use British steel for all major infrastructure and construction projects and all government backed contracts should look to use British-made steel.