Britain’s largest union, Unite, accused the government of allowing the ‘light to be snuffed out’ on steelmaking in Teesside, following the announcement that coke ovens and blast furnace at the SSI Redcar steel mill would be closed.
Commenting Unite national officer Harish Patel said: “The hope of a buyer stepping in has been cruelly extinguished by the liquidator’s haste and the government’s refusal to step in and buy more coal to keep the coke ovens alight.
“It is devastating news for all those whose livelihoods depend on steel making on Teesside and the hopes of a community who thought that an alternative solution could be found.
“The light on steelmaking on Teesside has been snuffed out by the government’s laissez faire approach which sets a dangerous precedent for an industry battling to stay afloat in the face of cheap Chinese imports and high energy costs.
“We would urge the government to change its stance, to intervene and support Redcar and the UK steel industry, so that British industry can take advantage of major projects, such as HS2 and the ‘Northern Powerhouse.’
“Steelmaking in the UK is at a crisis point. It is time for the government to stop hiding behind EU rules and follow the lead of the Italian, French and German governments by intervening to save a critical part of the British economy.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.