Hundreds of steelworkers from across the UK will march in London on Wednesday 25 May to demand that the Conservative government ensures the responsible sale of Tata Steel’s UK assets and delivers a proper industrial strategy that supports the entire steel sector throughout the current crisis and into a profitable future.
The march, which has been organised by the three main steel unions: Community, Unite and GMB, will start at London's Embankment before walking down Whitehall and past Downing Street. It will finish near the Houses of Parliament.
Union members from Tata Steel and several other major steel companies will take part in the event.
MPs are being encouraged to come out of the House of Commons and meet with steelworkers on the day.
Community's general secretary, Roy Rickhuss said: “For months, the ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign has engaged hundreds of thousands of people across the UK. This march will bring steelworkers to London to focus all our attention on delivering a clear message to government: save our jobs, support our communities and deliver the fantastic future for British steelmaking we know it can have.”
Harish Patel, national officer for Unite said: “The steel industry has to be at the heart of UK manufacturing. It is one of our foundation industries. We have a highly skilled and dedicated workforce that has invested their lives in the industry. We expect the government to recognise this. Having met with Unite reps across the UK in the past few days - they have made it clear; we have had a lot of warm words about the importance of our steel industry, now it is time to deliver. This march will be about reminding the government that actions speak louder than words.”
Dave Hulse, national officer for the GMB said: “It took the government a long time to understand how serious this steel crisis is. This march will be an opportunity for all unions to send a clear message that we need a long term strategy to support our industry and safeguard vital jobs.”
Tony Burke, Unite assistant general secretary added: “The continued failure to agree to tariffs for Chinese steel reflects really badly on the UK government. It sends out all the wrong signals while we are working day in, day out to try to secure a future for the sector.
“On this, the UK government cannot face two ways. It has to decide where its priorities lie: in giving this core industry a fighting chance or cosying up to the Chinese? When it comes to steel it cannot do both.”
Unite the union is the UKs largest trade union and the UKs largest manufacturing union.
For further information please contact Alex Flynn, Unite head of media and campaigns on 0203 371 2066
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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