Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar, has today called on SSI to step up and show its commitment to the steelworks, the workforce and suppliers.
In a press conference with Community Union at Cargo Fleet Offices, Anna said it was time the company broke their silence and set out a plan for the future of the steelworks.
Anna, Community Union, and Tom Blenkinsop MP have written a joint letter to Win Viriyaprapaikit, SSI Group CEO and President, with an urgent appeal for him to outline his immediate and long term plans for SSI UK.
Speaking after the press conference, Anna said:
“The steel industry on Teesside is in crisis and it is time for SSI to be open and honest and set out their intentions for the plant. The prolonged silence is causing uncertainty and distress for the workforce, their families, and local businesses and supply chains. The lads, who have given it their all to turn the plant around over the past five years and to keep it going over recent weeks, will need paying at the end of the week and deserve to have their faith reciprocated. The suppliers and businesses who depend on the site need honesty too.
“While the blast furnace remains lit we can remain hopeful that steelmaking is staying but without a commitment from SSI it means nothing. We have been told there will be a restructure of the business but they have not made clear whether the UK arm will receive the investment it needs. Their silence and brinkmanship is playing fast and loose with jobs, businesses and livelihoods on Teesside. The industry is the heart of our community and is too important for us to lose.
“We also need the government to step up and recognise the urgency of the situation and accept that the industry is too important to go under. They need to be working with SSI to secure the site, secure jobs, secure industry, and make sure we have a future for steelmaking on Teesside.”