Shaping a sustainable society for generations to come
Steelworkers from Tata Steel, British Steel, Liberty Steel, Celsa Steel, Marcegaglia and Sheffield Forgemasters marched to the Houses of Parliament this week to call on the UK Government to take urgent action to secure the future of Britain’s steel industry.
Community Union General Secretary Roy Rickhuss said: “Britain needs its steel industry; our country is made from it: the roads we drive, the bridges we cross, the hospitals that heal us and the schools in which our children learn.
“Our steel industry cannot survive if we continue to pay far more for energy than our EU competitors and it cannot decarbonise if the government doesn’t support the transition toward Net Zero.
“Steelworkers don’t ask for handouts, simply the chance to compete on a level playing field and to protect an industry of crucial national importance.”
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “From hospitals to defence, it is clear that UK steel is a critical infrastructure industry and steel must be produced in the UK. We can no longer leave ourselves vulnerable. The government must act now.”
Gareth Stace, Director General of trade body UK Steel, warned Britain was “lagging behind” rival countries in moving to green steel.
He said: “We can only make the necessary billions of pounds of investment if our government fully backs UK steel production. Otherwise, we will watch other steelmaking nations invest, overtake us, and witness our steel sector become a thing of the past.”
Stephen Kinnock MP, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Steel, said: “Global demand for steel is going up, but we will only seize the huge opportunities that are out there if the government partners with steel firms to help them decarbonise and get ahead of the competition.”
And Community’s Assistant General Secretary Alasdair McDiarmid said: “With the government’s backing, we could see a thriving steel industry at the heart of the British economy, building the foundations of a greener, better Britain.
“Without the government’s backing, we will see our steel industry diminish, damaging our economy, and every single community that depends on steel.”
UK steelworkers called on the government to:
• Deliver competitive energy prices;
• Match the ambition of competitor countries’ investment in green steel production, and;
• Introduce climate measures to protect us from dirty steel imports.
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