Unions demand UK steel industry help at crisis summit

They will outline measures to help the industry at a summit being attended by business leaders and ministers, reports The BBC.

It follows the closure of the SSI steel plant in Redcar, with the loss of 1,700 jobs.

The government accepts the industry faces tough times but warned there was no magic bullet to solve its problems.

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union, said ministers should have stepped in to save the industrial assets at Redcar.

“The summit must not be a talking shop,” he said.

“There is a case for urgent, short-term action to help create a level-playing field for UK steel producers.”

The Unite union has also called for the government to put steel at the heart of an industrial strategy.

“The steel industry is at crisis point,” said Tony Burke, the union’s assistant general secretary.

“Unless the government pursues an industrial strategy with a ‘steel heart’ then sound-bites like ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and ‘March of the Makers’ will be nothing more than empty rhetoric for communities who rely on skilled jobs in steel and manufacturing.”