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Government confusion over steel

Community
Community
30th March 2016

Community, the steelworkers’ union, has today slammed the UK Government for creating ‘confusion’ over what it will do to save the UK steel industry. The union had earlier welcomed the response from steel minister, Anna Soubry that the government would “leave nothing off the table”. However, by the afternoon, business secretary Sajid Javid said that one of the options for the government – nationalisation – was “not a solution”.

The Prime Minister, who has previously promised to do all he could to safeguard the steel industry has now ruled out a recall of parliament. Despite being on the brink of a national industrial crisis, MPs will not have an opportunity to debate the issue.

Community’s General Secretary, Roy Rickhuss said:

“Seeing confusion and mixed messages from ministers will only increase the worry of steelworkers across the UK. We have always been willing to work constructively with government to secure a future for steelmaking. The fact  that one minute they are saying they are looking at all the options and the next they’re saying some form of nationalisation is not a solution shows a government divided and without the political will to take the tough action necessary to save our industry.

“We don’t want Sajid Javid rushing back from Australia to repeat the mistakes he and his colleagues made over Redcar. It is also too soon to be talking about measures to mitigate job losses. People still have jobs now and the government should be focused on ensuring that their employment and steel making continues. Rather than the Prime Minister sitting down with his ministers, perhaps he should heed our call to meet me and I can help set him and his government back on the right path.

“Steelworkers need a government that will protect their jobs and ensure a long term future for British steel making. We simply will not accept a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to protecting our members’ livelihoods and families. This is why it’s disappointing the Prime Minister doesn’t see this issue as a sufficient priority to recall Parliament and give MPs from worried steel communities across the UK the opportunity to debate the issue and hold the government to account.”

Ends.

Notes

  1. Community is the largest and leading union in the UK steel industry.
  2. Roy Rickhuss led a Community delegation to Mumbai which included two Port Talbot steelworkers and Aberavon MP, Stephen Kinnock.
  3. For more information, contact Callum Munro on 07821250904 / cmunro@community-tu.org