According to the Unite union, the United Kingdom’s steel industry, which is responsible for the maintenance of thousands of jobs, is “a whisker away from collapse.”
It has penned a letter to Business Secretary Grant Shapps asking for an immediate meeting in order to press for additional help.
Unite has made the accusation that the government has taken “little significant action” to assist the industry, which has resulted in the industry being “near breaking point.“
The government has stated that it places a high premium on the prosperity of the steel industry.
The letter was written by Steve Turner, who is the assistant general secretary for Unite. In it, he stated that there were a number of concerns that were generating problems for the industry.
“crippling energy costs,” “carbon taxes,” “lost markets,” “reduced demand,” and “open market access for imported steel” were among these factors.
Mr. Turner wrote a letter to Mr. Shapps on behalf of two other unions, Community and GMB, claiming that the difficulties faced by manufacturers such as British Steel, Tata Steel, and Liberty Steel were the result of “direct actions by your government that have significantly undermined the competitiveness of UK plant in global markets.” Mr. Turner’s letter was sent on behalf of Community and GMB.
Mr. Turner said, “with no significant action from the government in areas such as UK procurement policy, support for energy pricing, green energy generation, or support for investment in new facilities and technologies.”
Many people have said that our organization is “a hair’s breadth away from collapsing.”
He stated that the steel industry in the United Kingdom “employs tens of thousands of skilled people and hundreds of apprentices,” and he urged for an urgent meeting to address “current and future government strategy” to boost the industry.
According to recent reports, the chancellor of the United Kingdom, Jeremy Hunt, is on the verge of approving a subsidy package for British Steel worth £300 million.
The Treasury has not yet confirmed the amount of money, but according to the BBC’s understanding, it is contingent on the company’s Chinese owners, Jingye, investing in environmentally friendly technology.
In response to the letter, a spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy said that the government understood “the important role that steel plays in the UK economy, helping to support local jobs and economic growth.”
In the statement, it was stated that the government was “committed to providing a sustainable and competitive future for the UK steel sector.” Also, it was said that Mr. Shapps “considers the success of the steel sector a priority and continues to work closely with industry to achieve this.”
Jonathan Reynolds, the Shadow Business Secretary for Labour, was asked to comment on the proposed funding package for British Steel. In his response, he stated that the steel industry in the United Kingdom had been left “on the brink” as a result of the failure of the government to come up with long-term solutions.
According to Mr. Reynolds, “Endless sticking plaster solutions from the Conservatives have left our UK steel sector on the brink of collapse.”
“Rather than finding a long-term solution, successive Conservative governments in the United Kingdom have lurched from crises and bailouts without any plan to keep UK steel internationally competitive or deliver a return on taxpayer investment,” the union claims.