Community, the steelworkers’ union, has called for the government to provide practical support as hundreds of jobs are set to go at Scotland’s two remaining heavy steelworks at Dalzell and Clydebridge in Lanarkshire. Community’s Assistant General Secretary, John Park said:
“Scottish steel is facing its biggest test in a generation. These developments are hugely worrying – not only for Scottish industry – but for the communities around Motherwell and Cambuslang.
“Workers in the Scottish steel industry have done everything asked of them to ensure they can compete in a global marketplace. We are in the middle of the worst slump in steel prices in living memory and it is essential we maintain our capacity to produce steel in Scotland.
“We welcome Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of a steel task force, but it cannot simply be an exercise in managing decline. If the Scottish steel industry is to have a future, then Nicola Sturgeon must ensure the strategic assets at Dalzell and Clydebridge are maintained.
“We also need the Scottish Government to examine their public infrastructure plans and work with all sides of industry to develop a proper industrial strategy for the sector. We believe these Scottish sites can be successful and we are ready to work with the Scottish Government and potential investors to secure the future of steel in Scotland.
“For steel to have that future we must secure the skills of the men and women who work in the industry. That is why we are calling on the Scottish Government to support short-time working programme should that be necessary over the coming weeks.
“Community has always been willing to work with governments of all colours to help protect our members’ jobs. We look forward to playing a full and constructive role in the Scottish Government’s steel task force. Scottish steelworkers will need more than warm words and we will be pushing for Nicola Sturgeon to provide the sort of practical support they need.”
1. Community is the largest and leading trade union in the steel industry and represents the majority of those workers affected by this announcement.
2. Workers can be ‘laid off’ (ask them to stay at home or take unpaid leave) for a temporary period when a company can’t give them paid work – as long as the employment contract allows this. Short-time working is when an employee works reduced hours or is paid less than half a week’s pay. Laying off staff or short-time working can help avoid redundancies – but this must be agreed with staff first.
3. For more information, contact Callum Munro on 07821250904 or Matt Ball on 07799772250.