Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has welcomed the announcement today (Friday 16 August) that the Turkish Armed Forces Assistance Fund (Oyak) has entered into exclusive talks with administrators Ernst and Young, about purchasing British Steel which was placed into compulsory liquidation in May.

Feeling of relief

Unite national officer for steel Harish Patel said: “The overwhelming feeling of the 5,000 workers at British Steel is one of relief.

“Since May the workers have had their lives put on hold with the future of the company and their jobs being placed in an extremely precarious position.

“The announcement that Oyak has entered into exclusive talks about purchasing British Steel is not the end of the process, but it is a massive step forward and provides a degree of confidence for the workforce at British Steel and the company’s customers.

Government action

“In order to secure the long-term future of British Steel and the UK steel industry there remains a requirement for the government to keep its eye on the ball and provide assistance to tackle problems of high use energy costs and business rates.

“The government must also introduce a proper industrial strategy which tackles procurement issues to ensure that public contracts use UK steel.

“It is also essential that the government acts to prevent a disastrous no deal Brexit which would lead to cheap steel being dumped in the UK market.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey