The steelworkers’ union Community is taking its campaign to save the UK steel industry to Parliament this week. On Tuesday, Community’s General Secretary, Roy Rickhuss, the national trade union lead for the steel industry, is the only trade union representative invited to give evidence to the House of Commons Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee inquiry into the steel crisis. On Wednesday, dozens of Community members from steelworks across the UK will travel to Parliament to lobby MPs ahead of an Opposition Day debate on the steel industry.
Roy Rickhuss said:
“I’m looking forward to speaking to MPs on behalf of the UK’s thousands of steelworkers, their families and communities. The inquiry by the BIS Select Committee is important and timely and I welcome the opportunity to relay the concerns of our members and their colleagues and set out what issues I believe the committee should be raising with Ministers during their evidence. Issues like when the government will bring forward the full compensation package for energy intensive industries and how they plan to level the playing field within Europe for UK steel producers.
“I also look forward to joining with representatives of steelworks across the UK on Wednesday as we make the case to MPs on all sides of Parliament about what we believe the government should be doing to support the UK steel industry through this current crisis. I will be particularly interested to hear the response to the debate from the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid MP. No doubt he will be keen to demonstrate that his discussions in Europe this week have delivered action on state aid clearance and steel dumping and that he has not returned empty-handed.
“Our message this week remains a loud and clear appeal to the government to save our steel. We have already seen thousands of jobs go in Redcar, now thousands more are on the line in Scunthorpe, South Yorkshire, Lanarkshire and within Caparo sites across the UK. The government still needs to give a sign to steel producers that this vital foundation industry has a future.
“The eyes of the UK are on the steel industry and people will be watching the response of ministers to the issues raised in Parliament this week. The government needs to demonstrate that it has heard the steelworkers and employers’ concerns and that it understands the urgency of the situation.”