The “devastating” impact of the crisis gripping the steel industry has been revealed in figures showing how difficult it is for workers to find other jobs.
And as dozens of staff at Tata Steel in Hartlepool looked set to be added to the growing lost, a government report showed that over half of SSI steel workers in Redcar are still looking for work four months after the plant closed.
EU politicians are still failing to act to stop to stop the dumping of Chinese steel from a country that is not a market economy. This failure to act is intolerableMichael Blench, regional officer of the GMB union
Between the date of the closure last October, and earlier this month, 1,940 former employees had made a claim for jobseeker’s allowance, although 690 stopped claiming during the period.
The plant’s closure highlighted the devastating impact on the industry of high energy costs and cheap Chinese imports.
A spokesman for the steelworkers’ union Community said: “What happened in Redcar must not be repeated and that’s why there needs to be more swift and decisive action from the Government to support the UK steel industry. This means delivering support on energy costs, business rates and standing up to China to stop unfairly traded steel damaging the UK industry.”
Michael Blench, regional officer of the GMB union, said: “EU politicians are still failing to act to stop to stop the dumping of Chinese steel from a country that is not a market economy. This failure to act is intolerable.”
Earlier this week, Tata Steel confirmed it was slicing 1,050 jobs off its UK operation.
Its Brenda Road site will shed 62 posts out of a town workforce of 500 steelworkers.
Changes in the oil and gas industry have been blamed as a having a direct impact on the cutbacks.