Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has cautiously welcomed news that the Chinese company Jingye is close to finalising a deal to purchase British Steel.

British Steel has been receiving government support to continue operating since May. The company employs 5,000 workers directly with a further 20,000 workers in the supply chain.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “Unite welcomes news that it appears we are close to a deal being concluded that ends the anxiety felt by thousands of workers, their families and communities and finally brings desperately needed stability to a world class business.

“However, there have been a series of false dawns in finding a buyer for British Steel and Unite will not be raising any false hopes without seeing detailed plans for the entire business and the ink is dry on the contracts.

“If and when a formal announcement is made, the workforce will begin to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

"Unite is seeking a further urgent meeting with Jingye to understand exactly what commitments will be made to the workforce and its proposals for long term investment in the company.

“Similarly we continue to seek meetings with government to secure a firm commitment that it will now finally ensure that previous empty promises to act to defend the steel industry in respect of tariffs, energy prices and business rates in particular, are finally delivered and aren’t simply a further example of opportunist electioneering.”


Notes to editors:

Unite calls on government to honour British Steel commitments

For more information please contact Unite senior 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.