Britain’s steel industry is at ‘crisis point’ warned the UK’s largest union Unite as it urged the government to step up its support for the troubled industry.
The call follows today’s (Friday 18 September) decision by SSI to ‘pause’ iron and steelmaking operations at its Teesside steel plant because of issues with the supply of raw materials and services.
The coke ovens and power station on the site in Redcar will continue to operate at a reduced level, but production at the south bank coke ovens will cease and the plant mothballed.
Commenting Unite national officer for steel Harish Patel said: “We will be meeting urgently with the company and assisting our members and their families through this difficult and worrying time.
“The news is yet another blow to steelmaking in the UK and devastating news for the local economy and the people whose livelihoods depend on steel making at Redcar.
“Britain’s steel industry is at crisis point due to high energy costs and difficult market conditions. The UK government needs to follow the lead of its French, Italian and German counterparts and step up support for steelmaking here in the UK as part of a wider industrial strategy to rebalance the economy.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
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.