Received from: Community
Congress notes that since the tragedy of SSI in 2015 steel unions have been in crisis mode fighting for the survival of UK steelmaking. Congress further notes the recent breakdown of joint venture talks between Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp and the liquidation of British Steel which left the workforce at those companies and entire steel communities facing an uncertain future.
Congress recognises that steel is a strategic foundation industry that supports other vital industries like automotive, shipbuilding, rail, defence and construction, and strongly believes the future of UK steelmaking must be secured. Congress deplores the fact that after four years of crisis government is still failing to deliver meaningful progress towards a level playing field for UK steelworkers and in fact the situation is getting worse; energy prices paid by UK producers can now be double those paid in France and our business rates ten times those paid on the continent. Congress also notes the impact on the sector of new macro-challenges like Brexit-related uncertainties and US tariffs which have compounded problems of global steel overcapacity and led to an increasing trend towards protectionism.
Therefore, Congress calls on the General Council to continue to support the unions’ Save Our Steel campaign and strenuously lobby government to:
i. develop an effective industrial strategy with steel at its base
ii. deliver the long-overdue steel sector deal
iii. take any action necessary to safeguard national steel assets faced with closure
iv. avoid a no-deal Brexit that would devastate UK steelmaking.