Speaking at the Save our Steel rally in Sheffield, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the steelworkers’ union Community called on both the UK government and Tata to buy British steel as just one of the measures needed to help save the UK steel industry.
Mr Rickhuss told the gathering of hundreds of steelworkers from across the UK:
“We need action – not just words – on energy costs, business rates, skills retention and most of all, action to ensure a level playing field. Let us compete fairly – stopping, as the USA has done – the dumping of cheap steel from the likes of China. And that means holding the Government’s feet to the fire – the blast furnace. We cannot become distracted – we must remain together and focussed.
“But it’s not just government that needs to act – we need our steel businesses to set out their commitment to the UK.
“Take Tata for instance – supposedly one of the world’s most ethical companies with their values and their vision. So how can it be at a time when Tata Steel is on its knees and crying out for orders that they only around 30% of the steel used by Jaguar Land Rover comes from their UK plants?
“I’ve got a message for Tata – if you want to make money on the backs of British workers and the prestige of Jaguar Land Rover – then build your cars with British steel.
“And to the UK government – get the procurement right. Build our railways with British steel. Build our bridges with British steel. Build our ships with British steel.”