In response to the Government’s new energy strategy, Powering Up Britain, Alun Davies, National Officer at the steelworkers’ union Community, said:
We are disappointed to see the Government failing again to address the burning issue of crippling energy costs in the steel sector in its Energy Security Day announcement.
The Government promised we will have affordable energy by 2050, but jobs are being lost now and our steel industry cannot wait any longer. We urgently need to reduce energy costs to compete internationally and to decarbonise steelmaking.
Our steel industry is a vital component of the UK’s economy, and plays a critical role in our national security, as well as our ability to reach Net Zero. It also provides tens of thousands of well-paid jobs in areas this Government promised to level up. Failure to invest and safeguard the future of our industry now threatens the future of British steelmaking. Without our own steel industry, we will be left vulnerable, completely dependent on other countries for our strategic infrastructure and at the mercy of unpredictable global supply chains.
However, our proud industry is on its knees due to long-term negligence. The Government’s failure to act on energy costs have led to a sharp decline in our competitiveness, with hundreds of job cuts recently announced at Liberty Steel, and thousands more jobs on the line across the sector.
The Government must deliver on its Brexit promise to slash energy costs and protect our steel industry. We cannot afford to lose any more jobs and see our communities suffer because of inaction.
Community is the steelworkers’ union. More steelworkers are members of Community than any other union. We have a history dating back over a century, representing members and campaigning to protect Britain’s steel industry.
- 11,522 people signed the Britain, we need our steel petition. You read about the petition here.
- 33,000 people are directly employed by Britain’s steel industry.
- An additional 40,000 people work in the steel supply chain. Those jobs are reliant on the future of the industry too.
- Over 88 per cent of steelworkers are the main earner in their household.
- £6 billion is what Britain’s steel industry will be worth by 2030.
- £3 billion is the value of exports from Britain’s steel industry.