On the second anniversary of the closure of Redcar steelworks and coke ovens, Redcar Labour MP Anna Turley has called for more support for families of ex-steelworkers and contractors still struggling. She said:
“It has been a tough two years for many families, since their livelihoods were shattered when the steelworks closed. My immediate thoughts are with those families who have felt the stress and strain of their redundancy every single day since. Whilst many of the 3000 people who lost their jobs have secured new work, there are still families who are struggling to make ends meet.
“People are still coming to my surgeries and visiting the local citizen’s advice bureau with problems on low pay, personal debt and mortgages arrears. Even those who have managed to find secure work have often had to deal with much lower earnings. It is heart-breaking that 24 months later the situation has barely moved forward for these families. They can’t be forgotten and left to struggle on without any support.
“Teesside steelworkers have been hit again with changes to their pensions too, including those who have long retired. Paying for their industry twice to keep other steel jobs in the country. There is still a lot of uncertainty and unanswered questions for these workers and they need to be properly supported."
Anna also expressed her frustrations at the lack of progress creating jobs at the site:
“Site regeneration is so important for bringing jobs back. I expect the Tees Valley Mayor to be doing everything in his power to deliver this, and lobbying his government to fulfil their responsibility to Teesside. It is frustrating that not a single job has been created on the site yet and we can’t afford more delays or complacency. Having left it in this state, they have a responsibility to clean it up and bring decent, well paid jobs back for Teesside workers and businesses as soon as possible. We can’t afford to see another year pass with no progress.”