UK Government and Tata Steel have announced that they will jointly fund a £9m package to support those Scunthorpe steelworkers set to lose their jobs and the wider community. Responding to this announcement, Roy Rickhuss General Secretary of Community, the steelworkers’ union said:
“Although any support for steel communities is to be welcomed, both Tata Steel and the government are putting the cart before the horse.
“There is still a consultation process to go through and no worker will be redundant until that is completed. Community is focused on looking at the rationale behind the proposals and all possible alternatives that will save jobs. It will be challenging but all parties should be focused on the consultation.
“Ministers should be looking to protect these quality jobs for future generations in these communities. The government needs to get round the table with Tata Steel and the wider industry and implement the measures required to sustain steel making and retain skills and jobs in this vital foundation industry.
“This contrasts with the hands-on approach that the Scottish government is currently taking which we have welcomed.
“Worried steelworkers will not be reassured by today’s announcement, especially given the UK government’s track record over the support package for SSI workers, where even now it is unclear what is new money and how it will be spent.
“If David Cameron is serious about building a Northern Powerhouse then let him prove it by taking the action we need to protect steel jobs in Scunthorpe and across the whole region.”
1. Community is the largest and leading trade union in the steel industry.
2. For more information, contact Callum Munro on 07821250904 or Matt Ball on 07799772250.