Welcoming the news today (Wednesday 28 July) that the government will bring Sheffield Forgemasters into public ownership, Unite's assistant general secretary for manufacturing, Steve Turner said:

"This is the news we've waited two years to hear.  Unite has been engaged in a long battle with the Ministry of Defence and the UK government to protect UK steel supply to our defence and nuclear programmes so today’s news will be welcomed with a huge sigh of relief right across our steel communities.

"It brings to an end years of instability for this historic 215 year-old company, but is also a sign that government is maybe finally waking up to a crisis of its own making.  Critical infrastructure industries like steel function better in public hands and advanced economies like our own need to have stable, secure domestic steel production capabilities to protect our national security interests as well as to compete in global markets.

"But we only got to today's good news because our members at Sheffield Forgemasters had the confidence and faith to invest in their plant’s future.  We will now work with the government and company to ensure that those workers who put their hands in their own pockets to support the company do not lose out. 

“We now look forward to a secure future for the plant which brings with it the guarantee for both today’s workforce and the thousands of young workers to follow the hope of a highly skilled job in a well-paid, unionised plant."


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

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