SAVE OUR STEEL INDUSTRY- PRESS RELEASE 31st March 2015

“RECALL Parliament and renationalise our Steel Industry”

Sheffield Trade Union Council calls on the Government to intervene now to save our steel industry – before it’s too late. The devastating announcement by TATA Steel that it is to close or sell all its UK plants puts over 15,000 jobs at risk

Last year there was the announcement of 720 steel job losses in Rotherham and Stocksbridge. Then last in September 2015 the shocking announcement of the closure of the Redcar steelworks. In October it was massive job losses at Scunthorpe. Now it seems as if the ends of UK steel-making is actually imminent as we speak.

“With yet more steel jobs under threat in Rotherham and Stocksbirdge, the Tories’ “Northern Powerhouse” promise seems just a sick joke” said Martin Mayer. “This makes our march and rally in Sheffield on Saturday 9th April even more relevant. We urge people to show their solidarity with those whose jobs are at risk by coming along and hearing john McDonnell Shadow Chancellor and other Labour and trade union speakers” (see below for more details).

“The loss of our steel industry is not inevitable” says Martin Mayer, Sheffield TUC Secretary. “Any other European country would intervene to save their industry – but apparently not this Conservative Government who are obsessed with the free market. We welcome the Italian Government’s decision to nationalise their steel industry. If it’s good enough for the Italians, it’s good enough for us. Let’s nationalise our steel industry now!”

These job losses and closures will devastate the lives of thousands of steel workers and their families. But it won’t stop there. There will be a knock on effect on the heavy rail transport to and from the steel mills with the loss of train drivers jobs and thousands of jobs are at risk in the many supply industries connected to steel production.

“This vital industry is strategically important for the British economy” added Martin Mayer. “We simply cannot afford to leave decisions about its future to the private owners of these plants. Simply because of short term market fluctuations (in this case a drop in price due to China dumping steel on the world market) it’s enough for the private owners to ditch and run. There couldn’t be a clearer case for bringing the steel industry back into public ownership where it belongs”

Sheffield TUC sends its solidarity to the steelworkers and their unions fighting to save their plants and their industry, and offers whatever support we can in their struggle.”

 

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