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Steelworkers' union to take 'Save our Steel' campaign to Westminster

The steelworkers’ union Community is taking its campaign to save the UK steel industry to Parliament this week. On Tuesday, Community’s General Secretary, Roy Rickhuss, will give evidence to the House of Commons Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee inquiry into the steel crisis.

On Wednesday, dozens of Community members from steelworks across the UK will travel to Parliament to lobby MPs ahead of an Opposition Day debate on the steel industry.

Roy Rickhuss will lobby MPs to reduce energy costs for UK industry Credit: Dave Higgins/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The UK steel industry has seen around 3,000 job losses in recent weeks, following the closure of SSI in Redcar and proposed redundancies at Tata Steel sites in Scunthorpe and Scotland. The crisis has been caused by the dumping of cheap Chinese steel into the world market, and high energy costs.

Lord Heseltine says 'now as good a time as any' for steelworkers to lose their jobs

Lord Heseltine made the controversial comments during an interview on Sky News Credit: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

The Conservative peer Lord Heseltine said yesterday that now is 'probably as good a time as any' for steelworkers to lose their jobs given growing employment opportunities in the UK.

He made the comments during an appearance on the 'Murnaghan' programme on Sky News.

The SSI steelworks in Redcar closed down earlier this month with 2,000 job losses after failing to turn a profit for its Thai owners. Further jobs losses in the steel industry came when Tata steel announced cuts to its staff at sites in Scunthorpe and Scotland. The total number of jobs cut in the steel industry in recent weeks is nearly 3,500.

The crisis in the steel industry has been caused by the dumping of cheap Chinese steel into the world market, and high energy costs in the UK. Lord Heseltine also added that it would have been 'very questionable and expensive' for the government to have kept steel plants open because 'the market is unstoppable and invariably it wins.'

He said the job losses were 'very painful for the people who suffer but on the other hand, if you are going to lose your job this is probably as good a time as any because of the number of new jobs in the economy today is one of the most exciting features of this economy compared with many others.'

Torchlit procession held in "solidarity" for Teesside steelworkers

Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A torchlit procession is being held on Teesside on Saturday evening, October 24, as a show of solidarity for the more than 2,000 who lost their jobs after the collapse of SSI UK.

The coke ovens and blast furnace at Redcar were shut down earlier this month, just days after the company entered liquidation due to financial difficulties.

Many more jobs are expected to be affected in the wider supply chain.

A procession to the top of Eston Nab is being held this evening to pay tribute to those who have worked in the steelmaking industry on Teesside over the past 170 years.


Teesside MPs to meet SSI UK liquidators

Teesside MPs are meeting the official receiver for Redcar's steel works to discuss how the SSI site will be cleared.

They want more detail about plans to wind it down and questions answered about what will happen to the site which used to employ over 2 thousand people

It's believed potential buyers are still contacting local politicians, but there's thought to be very little hope of a deal.

'How much more injustice can Teesside endure?'

The MP for Redcar has asked David Cameron, "how much more injustice can the people of Teesside endure?", during a string of questions to the Prime Minister about the struggling steel industry.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, Anna Turley revealed that part of the Government support package, intended for the retraining of SSI workers, will also be used to pay for the final salaries of those who lost their jobs in the last month.

Mr Cameron responded by saying that the Government is doing everything it can to help, including the financial package to help people with retraining and bring new opportunities and industries to the area.

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