The UK and Ireland’s largest union, Unite said it had secured assurances from ministers that the government will underwrite British Steel’s receivership, meaning suppliers and people’s wages will be continued to be paid until a buyer for the steelmaker is found.

Commenting Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “I have spoken to business secretary Greg Clark seeking assurances about British Steel as we fight to secure its future and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people.

“I have received personal assurances that the government will underwrite the receivership process, which means that people’s wages and suppliers will continue to be paid and that the business can continue to operate as normal.

“While it does not represent the move into public ownership that Unite was seeking, it does place British Steel on a secure footing until a buyer for this world class business can be found.

“We expect this government assurance, which gives British Steel workers some immediate peace of mind, to be in place for as long as it takes. British Steel customers should be confident that orders will be fulfilled and that it is business as usual.

“British Steel workers are top class and have battled through adversity and uncertainty. Any new owner will be lucky and privileged to have them as their employees. It is vital that any buyer acquires the whole of the company and that it isn’t sold off piecemeal to disaster capitalists wanting to make a quick buck.”


For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.