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Unions urge government to nationalise British Steel if rescue deal is not agreed

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The government is being urged to nationalise British Steel if the government cannot find a deal to save the company from administration.

Last week British Steel asked the government for a £75m loan to haelp them tackle Brexit related issues.

Andrew Stephenson, business minister told the Commons the government will do all they can within their legal parameter to support the steel industry.

Stephenson said, “I can reassure the House that, subject to strict legal bounds, the Government will leave no stone unturned in its support for the steel industry.”

Steve Turner, Unite assistant general secretary said, “While Unite is in continuing dialogue with British Steel and the UK government, we are very clear that if a deal cannot be struck to secure the long-term future of the steelmaker under private ownership, that the government must bring it under public control in the national interest.

“British Steel’s success is key to any future UK industrial strategy. It is a strategically important business which supplies other UK steelmakers with product and provides 95% of the UK’s rail tracks.

“It would be an economic catastrophe if the worst were to happen and government was to allow British Steel to collapse.

“It is a national asset supporting UK plc that cannot simply be left to the market.”

Gill Furniss, shadow minister for steel, said: “The UK steel industry is critical to our manufacturing base and is strategically important to UK industry. The government must intervene.

“Administration would be devastating for the thousands of workers and their families who rely on this key industry in a part of the country which has not had enough support and investment from government over decades.”

Ross Murdoch, national officer of the GMB union said, “Given this latest speculation, these are understandably extremely difficult times for our members.

“Yesterday the government, alongside trade unions and employers, signed a UK Steel Charter at Westminster.

“They must now put their money where their mouth is.”

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union said, “British Steel has supplied Network Rail with more than half a million tonnes of high-quality rail over the past five years” – 95% of Network Rail’s requirement.

“In September British Steel signed a two-year contract extension to supply Network Rail with a further 4,000km of rail.”




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