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Tom Blenkinsop: Boulby job losses adding to "industry crisis on Teesside"

The MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland has said that the news of job losses at the Boulby Potash mine adds to the 'crisis' that Teesside is currently facing.

My heart really goes out to our East Cleveland miners at Boulby. We must keep them and their families first and foremost. To be informed you may be losing your job is a devastating process to go through, and especially in the lead up to Christmas.

There is never a good time to be given this news but we are fast approaching one of the most stressful parts of the year so I will be working with Unite and GMB trade unions and will support whatever John Chilton and his fellow union reps want to do going forward.

“This news compounds the crisis industry on Teesside is facing. Thousands of jobs have been lost in the past couple of months and the Government needs to seriously reassess how it will stop this terminal decline. I will also be seeking an urgent question in this matter on Monday morning in the House of Commons."

– Tom Blenkinsop


Hundreds of jobs to go at Boulby Potash in Cleveland

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Hundreds of jobs are to go at Boulby Potash Mine in East Cleveland, the company has confirmed this morning.

Cleveland Potash is Europe's deepest potash mine and produces and supplies potash fertilisers for agriculture and industry.

It employs around 1,100 people and today's announcement has said that 350 jobs are to go immediately.

Consultation has begun on 220 job losses amongst its employees and there will be a reduction of 140 contractor numbers.

The company unveiled a "significant restructuring" of its operations including moving from producing potash to polysulphate fertiliser.

Peter Smith, executive vice president, said the restructuring, although "painful", was vital to secure the future of ICL UK as a viable business.

In recent months we encountered geological problems which have affected previously high-yielding areas of the mine. In addition, our exploration programme, validated by independent consultants, confirmed further geological difficulties, which means that we have only a very limited level of economically feasible potash reserves

– Peter Smith

Around 2,000 jobs were lost on Teesside earlier this year with the liquidation of SSI.

SSI Steelworkers at EU steel summit demo to 'Save our Steel'

Steelworkers gather in Westminster last month to prevent further job losses in the UK steel industry Credit: PA

Steelworkers affected by the closure of the SSI steel plant in Redcar have travelled to Brussels to urge the business secretary, Sajid Javid and the European Council to take urgent action to stop the dumping of cheap Chinese steel.

Ministers from EU member states are to discuss the challenges faced by the EU steel industry, which has been suffering from falling metal prices, resulting in mass job losses across the country,including 2,000 at the SSI plant in Teesside.

Sajid Javid called for the summit after meeting EU Commissioners last month in Brussels Credit: PA

The meeting comes amid growing pressure on the UK government over its failure to step in to assist the country's crisis hit steel industry, which is being hammered by a flood of subsidised Chinese steel and energy tariffs double that of their European competitors.

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