Following reports of large numbers of construction workers being laid off at the Sirius Minerals development, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has demanded that the government immediately ends its policy of indifference and provides support for the project to build a potash mine in north Yorkshire and a processing plant in Redcar.

Halt to plans

Last Tuesday (17 September) Sirius Minerals was forced to announce a halt to its plans to develop the potash mine and processing plant because of the government’s failure to back the plans which would have generated jobs and investment and was predicated to expand the Tees Valley economy by 18 per cent.

At the end of the week Unite began to receive reports from the main construction contractors involved in working on the Sirius Minerals project had begun to lay off their workforce. Around 1,200 construction workers are employed by contractors at the site.

Devastating blow

Unite regional officer Neil Howells, said: “The news of the widespread layoffs at the Sirius Minerals project is a devastating blow for construction workers in the region.

 “The entire future of the project has been placed under a dark cloud due to the failure of Boris Johnson’s government to provide support for the project which if allowed to go ahead would bring widespread prosperity to a region where it is desperately needed.

 “The government must now reverse its decision, support the scheme and help to secure our members jobs on Teesside where they are desperately needed.

 “Unite is proactively looking to work in cooperation with Sirius Minerals management to ensure that this vitally needed project continues so that we can maintain and create first class, highly motivated, unionised jobs.

 ENDS

Government lack of support putting hundreds of Teesside jobs in jeopardy

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

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.