Steelworkers from the Unite trade union working for Tata Steel UK and British Steel will be joining thousands of fellow steelworkers from across Europe to march through Brussels tomorrow (Wednesday 9 November) to demand action to defend a key foundation industry.
The industriALL Europe-led protest, which starts at 11:00 at Parc de Cinquantenaire comes against a backdrop of continuing uncertainty for Tata steelworkers in the UK while the wider industry in Britain and Europe battles to survive in the face of the dumping of cheap Chinese steel.
Unite, which is Britain’s largest manufacturing union, is calling on the UK government to support European action to tackle the dumping of under-priced steel and support the UK steel industry by securing tariff free access to the single market in Brexit negotiations.
The union is also calling on the UK government to put UK steel at the heart of its much promised industrial strategy and secure the industry’s future by ensuring British steel is used in UK infrastructure and defence projects such as the new Type 26 frigate programme.
Commenting Unite national officer Harish Patel said: “Unite members from Tata Steel and British Steel in Scunthorpe will be marching shoulder to shoulder with their European counterparts to demand action against the dumping of cheap Chinese steel.
“With the UK steel industry in continued turmoil and the added uncertainty of Brexit in the mix it is vital that the UK government supports action to halt the flood of cheap Chinese steel and secures tariff free access to the single market in Brexit negotiations. A failure to do so will leave a key foundation industry of our economy hanging by a thread.
“Ministers must also make good on their promises of supporting the UK’s steel industry through these tough times by pursuing an active industrial strategy which sees them insist on using British steel for infrastructure and defence projects.
“Thousands of UK jobs and a core industry still hang in the balance with the steel crisis still very much far from over. Steelworkers have had misery heaped upon uncertainty and have been forgotten about by the UK government, but Unite is determined to make ministers remember.”
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.