Amid reports today (18th January 2016) that hundreds of jobs are to be lost at Tata’s Port Talbot plant Labour MP and Chair of the All Parliamentary Group for Steel and Metal Related Industry, Tom Blenkinsop, and Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar, claimed that the move was “another nail in the coffin for the UK steel industry”.
“This is devastating news for the Port Talbot community, so I would first and foremost like to offer my support for those workers affected at this difficult time.
“We’ve barely started 2016 and already the crisis within the UK steel industry has reared its ugly head. The Government’s inaction is unpalatable. They are sitting on their hands, with regards to four of the five proposals from the steel summit, and allowing this crisis to wreak havoc on steel communities across the UK.
“None of those asks are about propping up the industry but providing it with a level playing field. This is going to be harder to do the longer they wait, particularly if China gains ‘Market Economy Status’ – a point I raised with EU bosses last week.
“I now simply ask the Government ‘how many more communities need to lose their main life support before they do anything?’”
“Having experienced the devastating loss of steel jobs in our own area, my thoughts are with the workers in other steel communities, particularly Port Talbot, whose jobs are now also at risk.
“All we are asking of the government is to get behind the industry by taking action on Chinese dumping and uncompetitive business rates and give UK steel a fighting chance of survival. They need to start delivering on their promises of support and prioritise UK industry over its cheerleading for China.
“Inaction has already cost us one steelworks, it need not cost anymore if the government act now.”