The government’s much vaunted ‘Northern Powerhouse’ risks being nothing more than empty rhetoric unless it intervenes to save the SSI steelworks in Redcar on Teesside, Britain’s largest union Unite said today (Monday 28 September).
The warning came as the union responded to the news that SSI was mothballing the Redcar facility with the loss of 1,700 jobs.
Branding the announcement, a ‘body blow to the community’, Unite national officer Harish Patel said: “This is devastating news for Redcar and the thousands of people who depend on the steelworks for their livelihoods. Steel is the lifeblood of the local economy and runs through the community’s veins.
“The government’s much vaunted Northern Powerhouse risks being nothing more than empty rhetoric unless it steps in with assistance to save the SSI plant on Redcar.
“With so many livelihoods at stake and the UK steel industry at crisis point government ministers need to follow the lead of their counterparts in France, Italy and Germany by pursuing an active industrial strategy which supports the UK’s steel industry.
“Over the coming days Unite will be doing everything we can to support our members and the community and pressing government ministers to intervene and save our steel.”
For further information contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 07967 665 869 or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.
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.