Responding to the news that the acquisition of British Steel by Jingye has been completed today, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the steelworkers’ trade union Community, said:
“Today marks the start of a new chapter for British Steel. It has been a long and difficult journey to get to this point. In particular, this acquisition is a testament to all the efforts of the world class workforce, who even through the uncertainty, have broken production records. Today would also not have been possible without the government recognising the importance of steel as a key foundation industry. The decision to support the business through to new ownership is an example of positive industrial strategy at work. The government now need to build on this with more action to create the right environment for all our steel producers to thrive. That means further action on energy costs, business rates and procurement.
“We look forward to working with Jingye as they bring forward their investment plans, which have the potential to transform the business and secure a sustainable future. Jingye are not just taking over a business, they are taking on thousands of workers and giving new hope to steel communities in Scunthorpe and Teesside.
“We know there is a lot more work to do, most importantly supporting those who have not secured employment with the new business. These people have paid the ultimate price to get the deal over the line in a process that we did not agree. We will continue to push for them to have the opportunity to return to employment and will be offering support and guidance, in particular to access their redundancy payments, over the coming days and weeks.”