Scunthorpe steelworkers, their families and the community will be marching through Scunthorpe to ‘Save Our Steel’ on Tuesday 10 November as Tata Steel UK looks to shed 900 jobs in town.
The march organised by steel unions Unite, Community and GMB is set to start at 12 noon in Church Square (DN15 6TA). From there, marchers will head up Scunthorpe High Street, along Oswald Road and Ashby Road to finish outside North Lincolnshire council offices where a petition will be handed in and a rally held.
Over 4,000 people are expected to have signed the petition which urges the council to look at helping the Scunthorpe plant with its business rates. Representatives from all the steel unions will address the rally where they are expected to urge Tata Steel to stick with steelmaking in Scunthorpe and urge the government to support the UK’s beleaguered steel industry.
Speakers at the rally include Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke, Nick Dakin MP, John Mann MP, Martin Foster, Unite convenor and David Hulse national officer for the GMB.
Last month Tata Steel UK announced plans to cut 900 jobs at its Scunthorpe plant and the mothballing of its sites at Motherwell and Cambuslang with the loss of 270 jobs.
Unite is calling on the government to support a key component of the UK economy by taking action to stop the ‘dumping’ of cheap Chinese steel, help with high energy costs and business rates, as well as ensuring major infrastructure projects use British steel.
Commenting Martin Foster Unite convenor for the Scunthorpe steel works said: “Steel runs through the veins of Scunthorpe and is the lifeblood of the local economy. We desperately need support from local and central government on business rates and help with high energy costs.
“Action on this and the dumping of cheap Chinese steel, combined with cast iron government guarantees to use British steel on infrastructure projects will give the industry and Scunthorpe a fighting chance.”
Unite national officer Harish Patel added: “The clock is ticking for the government to take action to save our steel. Communities like Scunthorpe with a proud tradition of steelmaking and manufacturing risk seeing good quality jobs being lost forever because of minsters’ inaction.
“Business leaders, unions, MPs and the public all want robust action in the UK to save our steel. It is time for the government to act and develop an industrial strategy which secures the future of steel and manufacturing in the UK.”
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.