Government urged to support steel as Unite seeks urgent British Steel assurances
- Tuesday 14 May 2019
Britain and Ireland’s largest union, Unite said it would be seeking urgent assurances from British Steel bosses today (Tuesday 14 May) after reports suggested that the steelmaker was in talks with government about a new loan.
Responding to reports, Unite urged the government to do everything in its power to help the steelmaker while addressing the underlying problems facing the steel industry.
Unite national officer Tony Brady said: “The workforce of British Steel worked tirelessly to secure the steelmaker’s future during the difficult times and given a fighting chance will do so again.
“Unite will be seeking urgent assurances about our members’ futures at British Steel, a company which helps sustain thousands of job in the local economy and wider supply chain.
“Having just secured a big order for rail, Unite is firmly of the view that British Steel can and should have a bright future. To do so though the government must, as reports suggest help the steelmaker through the tough times, while urgently addressing the wider underlying problems facing the UK steel industry.
“Brexit is hitting sales and creating uncertainty not just for British Steel, but for the wider industry. At the same time high energy costs are leaving steelmakers competing with their European competitors with one hand tied behind their backs.
“Ministers need to support the wider steel industry with help on business rates and high energy costs, while securing a Brexit deal that secures a customs union and continued tariff free frictionless trade.
“The government must also put UK steel at the heart of major infrastructure and ensure projects like the Royal Navy’s new Fleet Solid Ships are built in the UK using UK steel.”
For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869
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.