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Steelworkers to lobby MPs with plea for action on jobs crisis

Steelworkers will travel to Parliament ahead of an opposition day debate on the wave of job losses in the sector. Photo: PA

Workers from steel communities in Teesside will lobby MPs later today, October 28, as part of growing demands for Government action to tackle the crisis in their industry.

Alongside steel workers from Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and south Wales, they will travel to Parliament ahead of an opposition day debate on the wave of job losses in the sector.

Thousands of job cuts have been announced in recent weeks by Tata Steel and SSI in Redcar, Scunthorpe and Scotland, with cheap imports and high energy costs being blamed.

Further losses are threatened at Steel processing giant Caparo Industries, which has gone into administration.

SSI campaigners at an anti-austerity march in Manchester earlier this month. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: "The message from steelworkers and their communities to the Government is clear. Step in and support the industry to save our steel before it's too late.

"We have already seen the consequences of the Government's failure to act on Teesside. Instead of intervening to keep the coke ovens burning at Redcar, ministers sat on their hands and allowed a key industrial asset to close forever taking with it the livelihoods of thousands of people.

"How many more jobs need to go and how many more communities will be devastated before the Government acts?

"We urge MPs to send a strong message to the Government on behalf of tens of thousands of steelworkers and their families and back action to support their jobs and the UK's steel industry."

Business Secretary Sajid Javid answers an urgent question on the steel crisis in the House of Commons last week. Credit: PA

Business secretary Sajid Javid will meet EU commissioners in Brussels on Wednesday to press the case for firmer action on unfair trade operations damaging the UK's steel industry.

Thousands more steel jobs could be lost if action is not taken to tackle the threats facing the industry's "vulnerable" supply chain, the Government is being warned.

The International Steel Trade Association (Ista) said scores of medium sized firms were at risk if the crisis gripping the industry escalates.

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