Steel needs to be put at the heart of the Government’s new industrial strategy, and trade unions need to be a key part of this. For the benefit of the UK steel industry, and the British economy, there must be sustained investment in major private infrastructure projects.
One of the first decisions the Prime Minister will take in the coming weeks is on airport expansion. Community has backed the campaign to build a third runway at Heathrow, the option unequivocally chosen by the independent Airports Commission as the strongest for all of Britain.
Heathrow have already signed up to the public procurement rules for steel, pledging to advertise all steel requirements publicly in Britain, and take into account the socio-economic impacts of where that steel is sourced.
In doing this, Heathrow have shown they are industry-leading, and made a statement of intent that will benefit those communities who have felt the impact of the steel crisis most.
Heathrow have announced that expansion will require an estimated 370,000 tonnes of steel, supporting an estimated 700 well needed jobs, directly and indirectly related to the steel industry between 2021 and 2026.
Post-Brexit, steel plants and companies across the UK need a pipeline of projects to fill their order books – let’s make delivering Heathrow expansion the first step on the road to a sustainable and newly thriving steel industry.
Expansion at Heathrow, the UK’s hub airport, will create up to 180,000 jobs all across the country – over four times as many as the other options on the table. Over half of these will be in manufacturing in the first wave of construction; highly skilled, technical jobs that will equip young people with skills for the future, benefitting our current members and future members of our organisation.
Community is a union which welcomes members from all sectors; Heathrow expansion, through increased exports and inbound investment, will create jobs in almost every industry and sector, according to the Airports Commission report.
The majority of forecast benefits from Heathrow expansion will be felt outside London and the South East – from trade with new emerging markets, foreign direct investment, and increased domestic connections to our regions and nations.
The message of the Save our Steel campaign is clear – save our jobs, support our communities, and deliver the fantastic future for British steelmaking we know it can have.
The Government’s new industrial strategy should offer long term solutions to deliver this – with a greenlight for Heathrow as its first step.
Delivering Heathrow’s third runway could kick-start a pipeline of high profile work that keeps contracts coming in, and keeps jobs and families secure. A swift decision will instil confidence in our industry, and ensure continued investment.
Community now stands with its fellow trade unions, along with the TUC, FSB, EEF, MPs from every region, Chambers of Commerce, and businesses of all sizes across the UK, in urging a swift decision for Heathrow expansion.