Conference believes the UK’s recovery must be based on an industrial strategy that creates well-paid, unionised jobs.
Conference welcomes Labour’s commitment to deliver a long-term Plan for Green Steel, including the £3 billion investment through a National Wealth Fund, to achieve near zero emission steel production by 2035.
Conference further welcomes Labour’s vision for introducing and championing a genuine industrial strategy in Government with business, workers and unions.
Following the passing of the Biden Inflation Reduction Act and the EU’s Green Deal Industrial Plan, Conference condemns the Sunak Government’s failure to respond, which puts energy and manufacturing investment and jobs at risk.
Further noting that Conservative Ministers seek confrontation with union members, Conference believes that a new approach to industrial relations must accompany Labour’s industrial strategy.
Conference believes decarbonising the steel industry is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry, but one we must get right and ensure we decarbonise in a just, fair way for the workforce.
Conference notes the recent announcement from the Government and Tata Steel regarding the future of steelmaking in Port Talbot and believes an electric arc-only model is not the right strategy for the future of our steel industry.
Conference further notes that new technologies are emerging for the decarbonisation of the steel industry, and for workers to feel confident in facing the green transition, training and development opportunities must be created in Labour’s modern skills system. Conference therefore welcomes Labour’s commitments to:
- Deliver a long-term Plan for Green Steel, including the £3 billion investment through a National Wealth Fund, to achieve near zero emission steel production by 2035.
- Create new industrial relations structures around the everyday economy covering mostly low-paid women through the School Support Staff Negotiating Body and the social care Fair Pay Agreement.
Establish Skills England and the Council for Economic Growth with union representation, and give workers a real voice in trade talks.
- Institute a right of union access to workplaces to organise and promote recognition through procurement as fundamental parts of the New Deal for Working People.
Conference calls on the Labour Party to:
- Further develop and implement its Inflation Reduction Act response in Government.
- Ensure unions have a voice in the setting of growth priorities and reform of skills curricula.
- Fight for a just transition for all steelworkers and reject the government’s short-term sticking plaster approach to the steel sector that is being acted upon company by company.
- Advocate for a combination of technology options to decarbonise the steel industry, including but not limited to, electric arc furnaces, carbon capture, DRI technology and hydrogen-based steelmaking.
- Champion the significant £3 billion steel commitment, which would be transformative in enabling the industry to decarbonise, with employers and in communities.
Set a strategic target of growing the manufacturing and engineering sectors as part of its wider industrial strategy to create a high-growth, high-investment, high-wage economy.