Redcar residents stand in solidarity with Port Talbot steelworkers

  • Reporter Kris Jepson was in Redcar to speak to some of the people who remember the loss of the town's steelworks

Residents of Redcar are standing in solidarity with steelworkers in Wales who have lost their jobs.

Tata Steel announced in January its restructuring plans involve cutting 2,800 UK jobs and will also include the installation of an electric furnace using recycled steel.

The announcement brought back bad memories for former Teesside steelworker Charlie Elcoate.

In 2015, more than 2,000 people lost their jobs when the SSI steelworks closed in Redcar.

He told ITV News Tyne Tees: "I feel so sorry for them, because I know what they’re going to go through. We’ve gone through it, you know, we should be really encouraging, keep the works, don’t sell them off."

Jillian Robson, a resident who attended a Support UK Steel event at the local library, said: "I’ve got two great grandsons and what are they going to do? Absolutely nothing. Be on the streets, because right at the moment this place is rife with drugs, drinking, you name it."

Steelworker mural in Grangetown Library, Redcar Credit: ITV News

The union Unite coordinated streets in Redcar, Scunthorpe, Sheffield and Port Talbot to erect signs outside houses which said "UK steel jobs not for sale". The union has called on the government to help support jobs in the industry and also help with energy costs.

Unite representative Pat McCourt told ITV News: "If government supports the steel industry, that will likely result in many more jobs in the area and young people from the area, in particular, can look to the steel industry once again to have a future career."

Grangetown residents show solidarity with steelworkers Credit: ITV News

On the issue, the government recently said: “We have a clear strategy to boost UK’s steel industry and create highly skilled jobs for the future right across the country. Nowhere is this more apparent than the recent Tata Steel announcement to transform steel making in South Wales, which is expected to save at least 5,000 jobs.

“We have provided £730 million in energy costs relief to the steel sector since 2013, in addition to support through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme. Industrial sectors, including steel, can also bid for Government funds worth hundreds of millions of pounds to support energy efficiency and decarbonisation.”

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