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PM needs to do more to stop Chinese 'steel dumping'

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the steelworkers’ union, Community, has said the Prime Minister needs to do more to stop Chinese steel dumping.

His comments came as Chinese Premier Xi Jinping flies into the UK as the news that steel company Caparo has gone into administration threatening 1700 jobs.

135 jobs at the Hartlepool site are under threat - even though staff have been told to go into work 'as normal' while the company reviews 'its options'.

It comes after SSI UK went into administration at the beginning of this month with the loss of 2, 200 jobs at their Redcar plant on Teesside.

Roy Rickhuss, eneral Secretary of the steelworkers’ union, Community Credit: Dave Higgins/PA Wire/Press Association Images

“The Prime Minister needs to do more than ‘raise’ the issue. He needs to tell the Chinese Premier what action he’s going to take to stop Chinese steel damaging the future of a vital foundation industry in the UK.

He needs to tell them that infrastructure projects will not be at the expense of UK industry and communities.

And he needs to tell UK steelworkers today when his government is going to bring forward the compensation package for energy intensive industry.”

– Roy Rickhuss, eneral Secretary of the steelworkers’ union, Community


Steelmaking halted at SSI Redcar plant

SSI UK have announced that steelmaking on Teesside is being paused.

They say it is due to ongoing issues with the supply of raw materials and services.

Preparations are being made to systematically reduce the production during the course of today, with a view to retaining the plant in a condition whereby it can be brought back into production at an appropriate point.

Redcar Coke Ovens and the Power Station will continue to operate at a reduced level.

Production at South Bank Coke Ovens will cease and the plant will be mothballed.

“It is with great regret that we have had to make this announcement and we are deeply aware of the concern it will give to our employees and their families.

The problems within the global steel industry have been well publicised in recent weeks and our decision follows a major deterioration in steel prices affecting our business during the course of this year. Our parent company and other stakeholders have given great support to the business, and the decision to pause our iron and steel production has been taken reluctantly and in a scenario where no other practical options are available at present.

We are taking this pause in production in order to re-evaluate and assess the situation following the outcome of ongoing discussions with our various stakeholders, including Government and suppliers. Discussions will be held as soon as possible with our trade unions and employee representatives to clarify the effect the production pause will have on our employees ”

– Cornelius Louwrens, UK Business Director and Chief Operating Officer


Subsea industry "great for young people"

MPs, councillors and business leaders gathered in Newcastle this morning (May 22) to witness the opening of one of the world's biggest cable making machines.

The 'Vertical Helix Assembly Machine' makes sixty kilometre long tubes, so oil companies can reach the most remote parts of the sea.

Bruce Shepherd from Shepherd Offshore says Tyneside is proving to be at the forefront of the subsea industry and it is providing great opportunities for young people.

Steel firm brings 150 jobs and millions in investment

This machine is the only one of its type in the world. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A giant steel tube maker has been opened on Tyneside, securing more than 150 jobs and millions of pounds of investment.

The 'Vertical Helix Assembly Machine' builds cables that are up to 60km long, and can extract oil from the bottom of the sea.

It is the only machine of its type in the world. The manufacturers had to build one of Europe's biggest single-storey buildings in Newcastle to accommodate it.

Businessmen at the launch said it helps continue the redevelopment of the Tyne, after the end of shipbuilding more than 20 years ago.

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