Commenting on news that Tata Steel is restructuring its long products division Tom Blenkinsop, chair of the APPG on steel and Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland said:
“After the success of the Trade union led campaign to save the Redcar blast furnace the government has rested on its laurels and has even undermined energy intensive industries since coming to power in 2010.
“As I said in a debate on the steel industry yesterday it is clear that the industry is suffering from the twin problems of the rising value of sterling against the euro, and continuing uncompetitive energy prices.
“While there’s little the government can do about the former, this does demonstrate that the UK steel industry remains very fragile, and underlines the importance of the Government acting urgently on items that are within its control – and that is energy prices.
“The coalition government must now roll up their sleeves and get involved in an active industrial policy to maintain our key industries like steel. They must work to protect and support our hard working loyal communities in Teesside, East Cleveland and across the United Kingdom.
“I will be speaking to the management of Tata Steel and officers of the Community Trade Union to see what help can be given to the workforce and I will also be putting pressure on the government to find a buyer for the long product sites within the UK.”