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Steel union leader hits back at Tata CEO comments

Community
Community
10th November 2015

Hundreds of people marched through Scunthorpe today, chanting ‘Save Our Steel’, to call for more support
for the town’s steel industry. Speaking at the rally Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of steelworkers’ union Community, responded to press comments by Tata Steel CEO, Karl Koehler, th
at the Long Products business has no future in the company beyond the end of this financial year.

Mr Rickhuss said afterwards:

“Today was all about showing the spirit and the values Roy Rickhussof steelworkers and the clear determination people have to save Scunthorpe steel making. It’s what I learnt when I first joined the steel industry and my union – we stick together and we look after each other and that was clear for all to see today. Steelworkers are passionate about their industry and their communities. They want steel to have a future and that needs the government act.

“Scunthorpe has steel in its DNA, it runs right through the community. A perfect storm is hitting the UK steel industry and at the moment Scunthorpe is in the eye of that storm. Steel dumping, high energy costs and high business rates are all putting steel jobs at risk. Steel is a vital foundation industry and is important not just to the North Lincolnshire economy but to the entire UK. That’s why we want to see action from local and central government to help to save our steel.

“But it’s not just about government living up to its responsibilities to the steel industry. Steel companies, especially Tata Steel, need to honour their moral and social obligations to these communities. Recent press comments that Tata Steel has no future interest in Long Products only heaps more worry and stress upon steelworkers and their families. Tata Steel needs to show that it will be a responsible seller of the business and that it won’t just abandon the steelworkers of Scunthorpe and the rest of its Long Products business. I will be making that argument directly to Karl Koehler on behalf of the thousands of people who depend on the steelworks.”

Mr Rickhuss had presented a petition

Ends.

Notes:

1. Tata Steel CEO Karl Koehler’s comments were reported by the Economic Times http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/indl-goods/svs/steel/tata-steel-may-sell-long-products-europe-business-by-march-2016/articleshow/49710870.cms

Further information:

Matt Ball
Community
07799 772250
Callum Munro
07821 250904