Union says government’s responsibility does not end with announcement of £80m package

Redcar steelThe government must intervene to help the SSI steelworkers at Redcar, Community has said.

Some 1,700 workers are set to lose their jobs when the Teeside plant is mothballed by its Thai owners.

The government this morning announced a financial package of up to £80m to support workers and local business but, that, says Community general secretary Roy Rickhuss, does not go far enough.

He said: “We have been concerned for weeks that SSI is not fit for purpose. It is clear that SSI has yet again put forward a plan to government that lacks credibility.

“We believe there are alternative plans and parties who could intervene to protect the industrial assets. Government’s responsibility has not ended with the announcement of this support package. It should intervene to remove SSI and support an alternative approach that gives steel making an improved chance of a future.

“Government intervention is necessary to ensure that the mothballing is done safely, reduces environmental impact, retains the vital skills of the workforce and gives steel making the chance of returning in future. This is what I impressed upon the Minister Anna Soubry MP in our discussions yesterday.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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