Unite, the UK’s leading union, has branded the announcement today (Wednesday 1 February) by British Steel that is intending to make up to 1,200 workers redundant as ‘down to a greedy employer and a shambolic government’.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This proposal is down to a greedy employer and a shambolic government. Unite completely rejects the plans of British Steel’s multi-billion pound Chinese owners to cut over 1,000 jobs at its plant in Scunthorpe. We will back our members 100 per cent in defending their jobs, including any industrial action.

“The government have also got to sort out the total lack of any industrial strategy in his country, including the massive use of imported steel in our own infrastructure projects. At the moment steel workers are suffering from a catastrophic failure in leadership from both the Jingye Group, who own British Steel, and by the government.”

"If this plan is allowed to go ahead it will throw the future of steel making in this country into grave doubt.”

Steel is a foundation industry and it is absolutely essential for the future economic success of the UK. Despite the UK being a net importer of steel, there remains severe long-term concerns about the future of British Steel and Tata.

Unite national officer Linda McCulloch said: “It is time for everyone involved in UK steel-making to wake up and smell the coffee. The UK is in danger of sleepwalking into losing its steel industry, it is at risk of suffering death by a thousand cuts.

“It is quite clear that radical action is needed as the piecemeal support that has been previously offered has been entirely inadequate.”


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.