Socialist Worker

Unions must lead a fight to save steel jobs

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2472

Thousands of jobs could be at risk in the steel industry as bosses try to palm off the cost of a slump in demand onto workers.

Production at SSI in Redcar, Teesside, was “paused” last week, and the firm could soon go into administration. More than 2,000 people work there.

It follows 250 job cuts at Llanwern in South Wales last month, owned by the Redcar plant’s former owner Tata. Tata mothballed part of the Llanwern plant and could be set to do the same elsewhere.

Steel unions are demanding government aid to keep the plant open. Thousands of people have signed a petition started by a young Redcar woman whose husband, father and brother work at the plant.

However, the unions cannot rely on a Tory government that is at war with workers deciding to throw them a bone.

Steel workers at Tata sites across Britain showed a willingness to fight in a strike ballot over pensions earlier this year.

If given a lead they could put up a real fight for their jobs. Even the plants facing closure represent many millions of pounds worth of equipment that bosses would struggle to get back if workers occupied.

Thousands of jobs must not be let go without a fight.

 


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