Steelworkers from across the country will be travelling to the House of Commons tomorrow (Wednesday 28 October) to urge MPs and the government to ‘Save our Steel’ in tomorrow’s opposition day debate on the future of the UK steel industry.
The workers, from steel communities in Teesside, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and south Wales will be gathering outside parliament in Old Palace Yard for a photo opportunity at 10:00, before entering parliament to meet with MPs ahead of the debate in committee room 11 of the House of Commons.
The meeting with MPs is scheduled to take place from 10:30 to 11:30 before the opposition day debate, which is set to start on the floor of the House of Commons at 13:00.
Tomorrow’s opposition day debate follows a series of announcements which have rocked the UK steel industry over the last few weeks. Following on from the recent closure of the Redcar steel mill with the loss of 2,200 jobs, Tata Steel UK last week confirmed plans to shed 1,100 jobs at sites in Scunthorpe and Scotland.
Last week also saw steel processing giant Caparo Industries go into administration threating 1,700 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 that major infrastructure projects in the UK use British steel.
Commenting Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “The message from steelworkers and their communities to the government is clear. Step in and support the industry to save our steel before it’s too late.
“We have already seen the consequences of the government’s failure to act on Teesside. Instead of intervening to keep the coke ovens burning at Redcar, ministers sat on their hands and allowed a key industrial asset to close forever taking with it the livelihoods of thousands of people.
“The approach by ministers so far has been to deal with the symptoms of the steel crisis, when what steel and manufacturing communities want is action that secures UK steelmaking and secures their futures.
“How many more jobs need to go and how many more communities will be devastated before the government acts?
“We urge MPs to send a strong message to the government on behalf of tens of thousands of steelworkers and their families and back action to support their jobs and the UK’s steel industry.”
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.