Community marches for future of Britain’s steel industry

Hundreds of steelworkers from every single one of Britain’s steelmakers march on Parliament today (28 June 2023) calling on the Government to take urgent action to secure the future of Britain’s steel industry.

Roy Rickhuss CBE, Community’s General Secretary,  said:

“Britain needs its steel industry, our country is made from it; the roads we drive, the bridges we cross, the hospitals that heal us and the schools our children learn in. But the UK Government must decide whether it wants a steel industry in this country.

“In the absence of government backing, we face Britain’s proud history of steelmaking coming to an end. Our steel industry cannot survive if we continue to pay far more for energy than our EU competitors and it cannot decarbonise if the Government doesn’t support the transition toward Net Zero.

“Steelworkers don’t ask for handouts, simply the chance to compete on a level playing field and to protect an industry of crucial national importance.”

Gareth Stace, Director General at UK Steel, said:

“Steel sectors around the world and their governments are united, racing ahead in making a fundamental investment shift in net zero steel. Our steel challenge in the UK is to hit net zero by the milestones of 2035 and 2050, but we are now lagging behind. We can only make the necessary billions of pounds of investment if our Government fully backs UK steel production, and it is now or never to make that decision. Otherwise, we will watch other steelmaking nations invest, overtake us, and witness our steel sector become a thing of the past.

“We know that Rishi Sunak and his ministers believe in the UK steel sector, so now is the time to take that leap of faith, deliver a competitive business environment, accelerate our historic journey to net zero, boost capital expenditure and secure jobs.”

Stephen Kinnock, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Steel and MP for Aberavon – home of Britain’s largest steelworks – said:

“I’m proud to support the march organised by Community and to support the steelworkers marching in Westminster today. Community’s campaign has one clear message to the Government and the wider public: ‘Britain, We Need Our Steel’.

“As well as providing high-wage, secure jobs across the length and breadth of our country, making steel here in the UK is critical for our industrial foundations, national security and economic resilience in a world where we simply cannot predict the next move of hostile foreign governments.

“Global demand for steel is going up, and Britain deserves a piece of the pie, but we will only seize the huge opportunities that are out there if the Government partners with steel firms to help them decarbonise and get ahead of the competition.”

Paul Nowak, TUC General Secretary, said:

“It’s time the UK government stepped up and invested in our steel industry to make it carbon free. This would protect the good quality jobs that families depend on in our industrial heartlands. And it would boost the UK economy at the same time as ending emissions to keep our climate safe.” 

That’s why steelworkers from Tata Steel, British Steel, Liberty Steel, Celsa Steel, Marcegaglia and Sheffield Forgemasters are marching on Parliament and calling on the Government to:

  1. Deliver competitive energy prices
  2. Match the ambition of competitor countries’ investment in green steel production, and
  3. Introduce climate measures to protect us from dirty steel imports.

Britain needs its steel. The Government must back our steel industry now or risk losing it forever.

Further information

The march will depart from Trafalgar Square at approximately 10:30am, walk down Whitehall and gather at Parliament Square.

Community’s three key asks:

  1. Deliver competitive energy prices: Britain’s energy prices for steelmakers are much higher than comparative nations in Europe, including France and Germany. This makes our steel production less competitive, and it makes it harder to decarbonise as all green steelmaking technologies require increased energy use.
  2. Match the ambition of competitor countries’ investment in green steel production: The UK Government must match the funding ambition of other nations. The German Government for example recently committed 1 billion euros to decarbonise Salzgitter. Without matched financial support Britain’s steel industry will not be able to decarbonise steel production.
  3. Introduce climate measures to protect us from dirty steel imports: The European Union is introducing a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to equalise the price of carbon between domestic products and imports to ensure the EU’s climate objectives are not undermined by production relocating to countries with less ambitious policies. The UK must introduce its own CBAM policy to protect British steel and other domestic industries from cheap carbon-intensive imported products.


Community is the steelworkers’ union. More steelworkers are members of Community than any other union. We have a history dating back over a century, representing members and campaigning to protect Britain’s steel industry.

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