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Shadow Chancellor to visit threatened SSI steel plant

The Shadow Chancellor will visit the SSI steel plant, which is set to close with the loss of up to 1,700 jobs.

John McDonnell told ITV News Tyne Tees' Political Correspondent Paul Brand, he would be making a trip up to Redcar "on Monday if not before".

He has said he plans to put "maximum pressure" on the Government to do more to help the stricken plant:

The factory is being shut down after Thai owner SSI said it had no other choice because of plummeting steel prices.


Thousands gather for SSI UK rally in Redcar

Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Around 2,000 people have gathered in Redcar to try and persuade the government to keep the SSI steelworks open. The rally has been organised by unions at the plant and is being attended by steelworkers and their families.

Anny Turley, MP for Redcar, urged politicians to 'keep our light burning', referring to the coke ovens at the steelworks which are expected to run out of fuel tomorrow.

Anna Turley MP addressed crowds Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Possible deal over pay for SSI workers

ITV Tyne Tees has learned that HMRC has agreed a deal to bring forward a payment of £4m to SSI's parent company in Thailand.

It is understood the money is being given on condition that these funds will be used to pay workers at the end of this month.

The news follows days of uncertainty over the future of thousands of jobs at the plant, after the company failed to repay debts of £80 million last week.

Redcar MP says SSI workers to be paid tomorrow

Anna Turley, the MP for Redcar, has tweeted that SSI workers will be paid tomorrow thanks to money handed to the company by the Government.

This has yet to be confirmed by official government sources.

The Community union issued this response to the news.

Unfortunately, the company are yet to confirm that workers will indeed be paid tomorrow. If it is true then we’ll be pleased to see the pressure we’ve been putting on SSI and the government is finally paying off. It would be a small but very important step. We must now keep up that pressure and ensure that a deal to secure the future of the Redcar steelworks is reached. Steel making here is at a minute to midnight but the fire is still alight. We won’t give up fighting until David Cameron gives in and agrees to save our steel.

– Paul Warren, Community rep and Chair of the Multi-Union at SSI

Greggs one of the best places to work in UK

Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Greggs is one of the friendliest places to work in the UK, a new study has shown. The chain ranked sixth out of 25,000 companies.

Jobs website Glassdoor, who conducted the survey, said comments it received about the winners included praise for managers, a friendly atmosphere, staff discount, subsidised canteens and different time-off options.

Joe Wiggins, of Glassdoor, said: "When it comes to finding a new job we all have our own priorities, whether it's better pay, career progression or seeking out a certain company culture."

"Retail is the UK's biggest employer, so the atmosphere at work potentially impacts millions of people on a daily basis."

"It's no coincidence that this list is packed with some of the UK's most popular high-street retailers, because clearly camaraderie is easily forged amongst people working on the front line in customer-facing roles"


150 SSI workers given redundancy consultation documents

150 workers who operate the coke ovens at the SSI steelworks in Redcar have been handed consultation documents for redundancy.

They are the only SSI staff to have received redundancy notices so far, although the fate of 1,800 other workers has still not been clarified since the company suspended production at the end of last week.

SSI: Your quick guide to the steel industry

The Redcar SSI steelworks shut down its blast furnaces last week Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Production at the SSI steelworks in Redcar has stopped after it emerged last week that the plant was in financial difficulties, and unable to repay debts of £80 million.

Conditions for the British steel industry have not been favourable in recent times. One of the main factors has been the 'dumping' of cheap Chinese steel in Europe, which drives down prices.

Here are four facts about why things are going wrong, and what the government is doing to help.

  • £47.7m - the amount paid so far by the government to the steel industry to offset the effect of climate change policies on electricity prices
  • 30% - average fall in steel prices due to global oversupply and Chinese and Russian currency devaluations
  • July - government voted to extend EU anti-dumping measures (higher import levies for Chinese steel)
  • 500 - the number of infrastructure projects identified by government that will help the industry win contracts

Owners of SSI say they may sell Redcar plant

Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The Thai owners of the SSI steelworks in Redcar have said that they may sell the plant in a recent press conference in Bangkok.

The blast furnaces at the site were shut down on Friday following revelations last week that the plant was in serious financial difficulties.

The Redcar steelworks employs 2,000 people whose futures are uncertain. It also uses an additional 1,000 contract workers who fear they may be out of work by next week.

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