Unite calls for government action on energy costs to support steel jobs
- Wednesday 5 December 2018
Britain and Ireland’s largest union, Unite echoed UK Steel’s call for a ‘fair power deal’ for UK steel producers after a new report revealed that steel makers in the UK now pay twice as much for electricity as their competitors in France and 50 per cent more than in Germany.
The report, The Energy Price Scandal: A Fair Power Deal for UK Steel, by the industry body UK Steel found that the difference between German and UK electricity prices is the equivalent of £55 million a year to the sector, growing to £85 million when compared to France.
Unite, which is the country’s biggest union representing workers in steel and manufacturing, is backing calls by UK Steel for the government to eliminate the disparity in energy costs faced by UK steel producers to boost investment and protect jobs.
Commenting Unite national officer Tony Brady said: “One year on from the launch of the government’s industrial strategy and the Helm review into the cost of energy and we are no further forward.
“UK steelworkers have worked hard and made sacrifices in recent years to ensure steel in the UK has a future. They will be astounded to see the advantage on energy prices that firms in other countries work enjoy.
“If the UK steel sector and wider manufacturing are to have a secure future then the government must take action on high energy prices to ensure a level playing field for UK steel producers and manufacturers.
“A failure to do so risks making the UK uncompetitive and future investment going elsewhere, along with the highly paid skilled jobs that the UK’s steel sector sustains.”
Notes to editors
• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.