Tom backs opportunity to ‘stand up for steel’ in Parliament debate

Tom Blenkinsop MP has welcomed Wednesday’s (14th January 2015) Opposition Day debate on foundation industries.

Representatives of steelworkers from across the UK will attend Parliament to urge MPs to ‘stand up for steel’.

Tom, who is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Steel Group, said:
“Steel underpins every facet of a modern economy and steel underpins every element of our daily life. But steel in the UK without a proper state economic strategy for growth and industrial development will continue to drift.

“It’s good that Labour will stand up for steel in Parliament this week because the industry is under pressure and yet it is fundamental to many of the UK’s strategically important supply chains. Construction, automotive, energy and many other sectors all need a vibrant and sustainable UK steel industry, but it has been struggling to compete because of this government’s policies.

“Labour is absolutely right to hold the government to account over its lack of action in support of UK foundation industries. I will be proud to speak on behalf of Community’s steelworkers as I stand up for steel in Parliament on Wednesday.”

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said:
“As the union for steelworkers we are pleased that the Labour Party has chosen to make foundation industries the focus of an Opposition Day debate and we look forward to attending and lobbying MPs next Wednesday.

“Along with steel employers, we have been making the case for some time to government that the UK steel industry needs more than warm words from ministers to overcome the challenges that the industry currently faces.

“The government has missed too many opportunities to address the concerns of our members and their employers who are worried for the future of UK steel as they try to compete in a global market against countries, such as France and Germany, which provide far more support to their foundation industries.

“Thanks to Labour’s initiative, government ministers have another opportunity to stand up for steel, stand up for industry and stand up for Britain. I hope they will seize the moment.”

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