MEPs & Unions rally to save jobs in the UK steel industry

Labour MEPs today demonstrated with members of the GMB, the union for steel workers, and Unite the Union in Brussels to press the UK and EU governments to ‘Save our Steel’ and bring an end to the ‘dumping’ of cheap imported steel from China and other third countries.

The demonstration was held outside a specially convened meeting of the EU council of ministers who were discussing the possibility of protection for steelworkers in the UK.

The meeting, which was requested by Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, is looking at offering specific support for the country’s crisis hit steel industry. The steel sector has recently been hit by cheap imports of Chinese steel and is also suffering from the effect of increasing energy prices.

Dave Hulse, GMB National officer for the steel sector, said:
“GMB calls on UK business secretary, Sajid Javid, and his European ministerial counterparts to take urgent action to stop the dumping of cheap Chinese steel, and to work on support measures regarding other issues putting major pressures on the sector.”

GMB would like to see:

An increase in the speed and effectiveness of implementing trade defence measures to respond to price crashes in third countries;
The consideration of measures to support the industry in relation to the revision of the Emissions Trading Scheme and rules on carbon leakage;
An assessment of the impact of energy tariffs and how the negative impacts can be remedied;
A block on granting market economy status to China whilst they continue to dump steel on EU markets, and for a full social and economic impact assessment on the question of granting this status to China to be undertaken.

Speaking from the rally, Theresa Griffin, European Parliamentary Labour Party spokesperson for Industry said:
“We should not be in this situation, at EU level we need to stop the dumping of cheap steel and at UK level; the Government has to act now to save the steel industry, a cornerstone of UK manufacturing.”