22 October 2015
Tata Steel has announced nearly 1,200 job losses at plants in England and Scotland.
Nine hundred jobs will be lost at the firm’s plant in Scunthorpe and 270 jobs will be lost in Lanarkshire.
This is the latest in a long line of job losses in the UK steel industry, with 2,220 losing their jobs after the SSI steel plant at Redcar closed its doors last month. According to reports Caparo are set to make 1,800 redundancies.
Cheap Chinese imports causing a collapse in steel prices is a major factor in the decline of the UK steel industry.
John Park, assistant general secretary of Community said; “Community representatives will be looking to sit down with the company, to understand the detail and to look at all alternatives that save jobs and uphold our principle of no compulsory redundancies. We will also be putting in place advice and support for our members who are affected”.
“The government should hang its head in shame at today’s news. The cruel irony of the prime minister welcoming the Chinese premier as UK steel jobs are cut, partly due to Chinese steel dumping, will not be lost on the UK’s steelworkers and their communities.”
“We have been saying for years that more government action is needed to support UK steel as a vital foundation industry. We have made clear that the situation is urgent. Despite these warnings, the government has been too slow to respond.”
Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, said: “We have had a succession of ministers, and now the prime minister, saying that they will ‘raise’ the issue of Chinese steel dumping, which we know is impacting on the UK steel industry and the global steel price.
“The prime minister needs to do more than ‘raise’ the issue. He needs to tell the Chinese premier what action he’s going to take to stop Chinese steel damaging the future of a vital foundation industry in the UK.”
Speaking in Prime Ministers Questions, Corbyn accused Cameron of not having an industrial strategy.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“One in six UK steelworkers face losing their jobs. At this rate there won’t be a British steel industry in a year’s time.
“Ministers cannot afford to stand on the sidelines and watch this crisis unfold. They must step in now with a rescue package.
“From solar to steel, the government’s lack of industrial strategy is costing the UK dear.
“If David Cameron and George Osborne don’t up their game, more firms will go to the wall. They must provide emergency financial support in next month’s Spending Review. And they must urgently raise with the Chinese President the devastating impact Chinese steel dumping is having on British manufacturers.”
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “This is a dark day for the UK steel industry, for the workers and the communities who livelihoods depend on steel. We will be working closely with Tata to find alternatives and to save as many jobs as possible.
“The knock on effects of today’s news combined with Caparo and the closure of Redcar through the supply chain will be devastating. Trade unions, the industry and business groups are all united on the need for the UK government to support the steel industry.
“Sajid Javid is becoming increasingly isolated by his failure to act swiftly to support the steel industry. He and the UK government know what needs to be done and they need to do it quickly. A failure to act and tackle the dumping of cheap Chinese steel will spell the end of steel in the UK.”