Responding to news reports that 1200 jobs may be at risk at Tata Steel sites in Scunthorpe and Scotland, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, which represents the majority of those affected, said:
“Clearly this is extremely worrying news for all those who may be affected. We’ll be seeking further discussions with Tata Steel to understand the full detail, examine alternatives that may safeguard jobs and uphold our principle of opposing compulsory redundancies.
“This is yet another blow to our steel communities, demonstrates the precarious state of the UK steel industry and emphasises the need for government action, which Community and the employers have been calling for at the summit today.”
“We will also be seeking a meeting with the Scottish Government as a matter of urgency to discuss what support they can offer to Tata Steel’s Scottish steel mills at Dalzell and Clydebridge.”
The news emerged as a Steel Summit took place in Rotherham, bringing together government, MPs, employers and unions to discuss the current UK steel industry crisis.
Roy Rickhuss, who attended the summit, said afterwards:
“Today’s summit was a much needed opportunity for the government to hear directly from steel employers and the representatives of the workforce. Everyone impressed upon the ministers the crisis that the UK steel industry now faces and they should be under no illusion about what a united industry expects. The Secretary of State must now grasp the urgency of this situation. His willingness to listen was welcome, now he needs to show the political will to act.
“While the government has agreed to develop a number of working groups, timescales are unclear and they may only deliver in the medium to long-term. As we have said, government must also take practical action in the short-term to deliver urgent support to the industry particularly on dumping and uncompetitive energy costs. Today’s summit will only prove worthwhile if that support arrives soon.
“Community will continue to make the case for retaining vital skills and jobs within the industry in the interests of UK steelworkers, their families and communities. We do not want to see a repeat of the devastating situation in Redcar and nor should the government.”
Community it the largest and leading trade union in the UK steel sector. For more information, contact Callum Munro on 07821250904 / email@example.com or Matt Ball on 07799772250 / firstname.lastname@example.org.