WHAT: Rally to ‘keep the light burning’ at SSI Redcar
WHERE: SSI, Majuba Road car park, Redcar, Teesside TS10 5BJ
WHEN: 18:45 tonight (Thursday 24 September 2015)
Workers at the steelmaker SSI in Redcar, their families and local politicians will be coming together this evening (Thursday 24 September) in a rally to ‘Save our Steel’ and demand the government steps in to support the Teesside steel plant.
The rally called by steel unions Community, Unite and the GMB follows last Friday’s decision by SSI to ‘pause’ iron and steelmaking operations at the plant which directly employs over 2,200 people.
People are being urged to bring a torch, light or phone to the rally, which will hear from Paul Warren chair of the joint steel unions at Redcar and local MP Anna Turley.
There will be a minute’s silence at the rally when people will shine their lights in a call for the government to intervene and ‘keep the light burning’ at the Redcar plant and in the wider UK steel industry.
Commenting, Kevin Cook, Unite convenor for SSI at Redcar said: “Thousands of jobs and livelihoods rely directly and indirectly on SSI in Redcar. Steel is the lifeblood of the local economy and runs through the community’s veins.
“The workers at SSI have worked tirelessly to make the plant a success against a backdrop of high energy costs and difficult market conditions.
“They demand answers from SSI senior managers and that the government steps in to keep the lights of a vital economic asset burning.”
Unite national officer Harish Patel added: “While George Osborne is touring China, his ‘march of the makers’ and ‘Northern powerhouse’ risks heading down a dead end unless the government intervenes to support the UK’s steel industry.
“The plant in Redcar and the wider UK steel industry are of strategic economic importance and cannot be allowed to wither on the vine and vital manufacturing skills and expertise lost forever.
“The UK government needs to follow the lead of its French, Italian and German counterparts by stepping up its support for steelmaking here in the UK as part of wider industrial strategy to rebalance the economy.”
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.