Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland MP and chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Steel Tom Blenkinsop today (17th September 2015) urged the Government to join the fight to save the steelworks in Redcar.
Following on from reports earlier in the week that suggested the site and 2,000 jobs in Redcar were at risk after the owners SSI failed to pay back several loans amounting to £80m in June, a debate on the UK steel industry was secured by Anna Turley, MP for Redcar.
During the debate, Tom said:
“In 2012 steel making, against all the odds, had returned to Teesside; people’s livelihoods had been restored; and an opportunity to carry on the tradition of steel making had been created for future generations.
“Since SSI bought the site and relit the furnace in 2012 I think it is fair to say that the journey to where we are now has been a bumpy one. Indeed we find ourselves almost on a cliff edge as to whether the company can continue to operate at all.
“[Over the next few weeks SSI] must realise that the workers at the site are not so naïve that they don’t understand the difficulty the company finds itself in, so it is essential that SSI respects this and maintains a clear and honest dialogue with the workers and trade unions at the site. I do believe there is role for the Government to play in in ensuring talks firstly take place and then continue.
“If the prospect of 2,000 hardworking people losing their livelihoods doesn’t spurn the Government into action immediately then I despair.
“The fight for the steelworks at Redcar is one we are ready to have and the government needs to find the political will to act.”