Our campaign to Save our Steel continues. In the past ten days, I had a private meeting with the Secretary of State for Business Sajid Javid MP and steel minister Anna Soubry MP. We discussed the outcome of the Secretary of State’s meetings in Brussels, which have led to a high-level summit on steel tomorrow (Monday). I will seek a further update from the government on the outcomes of the meeting and keep members updated.
I also visited Celsa Steel in Cardiff, where I heard about the impact that Chinese steel dumping is having on their business. This should be high on the agenda when business ministers from across Europe meet.
Earlier this week I met with Tata Steel reps in Scunthorpe and Rotherham to talk about the ongoing consultations. I would urge members in Rotherham to get along to your branch meetings that are currently taking place to discuss the union’s response to the company’s position on the restructuring.
On Tuesday I was at Tata Steel Dalzell where I spoke to Scottish Government minister Fergus Ewing MSP to emphasise the need for the Scottish Government to ensure there is a future for the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants. The following day, our members in Scotland headed to Holyrood for a debate on the Scottish steel industry, which was widely covered in the media in Scotland.
Yesterday (Saturday), our members in Scotland led a Save our Steel March in Motherwell.
On Thursday I participated in an emergency steel summit called by the Welsh Assembly Government, along with our president Alan Coombs. Community will be part of the working group that will take forward some of the issues from the summit.
All this activity is about ensuring that we support our members whose jobs are at risk, secure help for those who have lost jobs and that we keep the steel industry at the forefront of both the public’s and politicians’ minds. We will continue to raise the profile of the industry and campaign for its future.
This Tuesday, I will be joining members in Scunthorpe as they march through the town and rally outside the local council to protest the damaging impact high business rates are having on the industry.
Everywhere I go I am arguing for the importance of retaining the vital skills and jobs in the UK steel industry and ensuring that our steel communities are supported.
These are just some of the many Save our Steel activities that have taken place in the past ten days. I want to thank all members who have organised or participated in campaign activities so far.