Liberty steel to submit plans to industry experts

Statement from the National Trade Union Steel Coordinating Committee

As we know Liberty have announced plans to sell Stocksbridge and its downstream operations and focus on developing an integrated business fed by a 2 million tonnes facility at Rotherham. We also know that Liberty have been drawing up detailed plans on the future for all the UK businesses, and to secure a refinancing they will need to persuade the creditors that their plans are credible.

However the unions have been clear Liberty must first convince the workforce that their plans will secure jobs and the future of every UK site. We’ve all heard Sanjeev Gupta promising that none of our plants will close on his watch – and we will hold him to that commitment.

Ever since Greensill collapsed the unions have been pushing the company to be completely transparent on the situation, and to work with us on solutions to the serious challenges we face. Then when the sale of Stocksbridge was announced we told Liberty they must act as a responsible seller and run an open sales process in full consultation with the unions.

We can now advise we’ve secured an agreement with Liberty which means the company will submit their business plans to the union’s external experts, the Syndex consultancy, for detailed analysis. This crucial work will take place over the coming weeks and Syndex will tell us whether the plans stack up and what they mean for the workforce.

This is an important development and we are pleased that Liberty has recognised the value of submitting their plans for independent review. The last few months have been full of worry and uncertainty for the workforce and we all have many unanswered questions. While we do not have the answers today, we now have a process to channel our questions and pursue our concerns.

Rest assured, if we believe Liberty’s plans fall short the unions will be representing our members’ interests and vigorously challenging the company. We will keep you updated with regards to further developments.

Roy Rickhuss CBE – General Secretary, Community / Chair, NTUSCC
Alun Davies – National Organiser, Community
Harish Patel – National Officer, Unite
Ross Murdoch – National Officer, GMB

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