Tom Blenkinsop welcomes “the announcement that all Teesside has been waiting for” as SSI relight the Redcar Blast Furnace

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (Friday 13th April) said the news that the Redcar Blast Furnace will be making its first cast this weekend “Is the birth of a new industrial era – a Teesside spring that all Teesside has patiently waited for.”

Tom said:

“The announcement of the first tap at the Redcar Blast Furnace and the resumption of steelmaking at the Lackenby BOS steelplant and the Concast casting plant is the end of a long story – and a story of how Teesside fought as one to see that our steelmaking heritage was not consigned to the dustbin of history.”

“The real credit must be for SSI, TATA and Teesside’s workforce. The workforce were determined their community and families futures were not to be junked, and they and Community Trade Union mounted the campaign to see that the furnace flames were not extinguished for ever.  This was exemplified by the tenacity determination and pride – personified by the dignified and disciplined voice of the late Geoff Waterfield, Chair of the Multi Union Committee.

“It is a tragedy that Geoff is not here to see what is happening today.

“I know that one thing that will stand out for the SSI managers will be the enthusiasm and Teesside grit of their workers.  Today is the start of a new industrial revolution for Teesside – a Teesside spring – that could see thousands of potential new jobs created, and, given this, it is certain to me, that this is a great day for everyone after all the pain we as a community have had to endure.”

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