Unite launches a serious and detailed campaign with steel town voters to demand that politicians reverse the decline in the steel industry and turn the UK into a world leader in steel production
Unite, the UK’s leading union, has described the plans laid out by government and Tata for Port Talbot’s steel works as 'a disgrace' and has said it will fight them tooth and nail.
Under the plans, the government will invest a mere £500 million, with no job guarantees, to replace the two existing blast furnaces with one electric arc furnace at the Port Talbot steelworks - shedding thousands of jobs in the process. The plans follow a decades long path of UK steel industry shrinkage and substantial job losses.
In response, Unite is launching a major 'Workers' Plan for Steel' campaign in steel communities across the UK. Unite will campaign with voters to demands that politicians from all parties commit to real action to save the industry.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “These plans are disgraceful, short sighted and lack ambition. Steel is a foundation industry and the opportunity is being missed to make the UK a world leader in steel production. Unite will be fighting tooth and nail not only to save these jobs but to create more jobs in steel.”
Unite has developed an ambitious Workers’ Plan for Steel that if delivered would make Britain a world leader in steel production.
The grass roots campaign will focus on engaging with communities that depend on steel to build pressure on politicians to pledge support. This could safeguard existing employment and create thousands of new decent jobs for generations to come.
The campaign will demand politicians commit to four pledges:
1. Change procurement rules to let UK public contracts use 100% UK steel. This alone can create 8,000 jobs
2. Public investment with job guarantees
3. Tackle energy prices and bring energy back into public hands
4. Take a stake. No more money for nothing. Public investment for steel must come with solid commitments