Crisis talks over South Yorkshire Liberty Steel job fears prove constructive, say Union

  • Report by Katie Oscroft

Crisis talks have been held today to try to save thousands of jobs which could be at risk at one of our region's big employers Liberty Steel.

It has emerged one of its main financial backers, specialist bank Greensill Capital, has "fallen into severe financial distress" according to its lawyers and has no way of repaying a $140m (£101m) loan, the Financial Times reported.

Liberty Steel employs just under 2000 people at its South Yorkshire plants in Rotherham and Stocksbridge. It owns 11 sites across the UK.

A spokesperson for Liberty owners, the Gupta Family Group Alliance, said employees were being kept up to date.

The steel unions – Community, Unite and GMB - met with Mr Gupta today to seek assurances on behalf of their members and to request full transparency on the challenges facing Liberty Steel.

The unions told Mr Gupta their priority is to 'secure the future of all Liberty Steel’sUK assets', and that 'all options should be considered.'

Suppliers who depend on the steelworks also fear for their businesses.  It's the latest blow to an industry which has seen significant job losses in recent years. 

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has already met with the parties involved to work out the next step. Robert  Buckland MP said he has every confidence in him.

.Deal signed to secure future of British Steel in Scunthorpe