Vital talks are on the way on the future of the steel industry

Crunch talks on the future of the steel industry will be held tomorrow.

Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 4:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 4:21 pm
Tata Steel's site in Brenda Road in Hartlepool

Delegates from unions and steel companies will be at the first meeting of the Steel Council.

Government ministers will also be at the meeting which is being held to stand up for the future of the UK steel industry.

It comes in the wake of a string of devastating blows to steel in the UK including job losses at Tata Steel’s Brenda Road plant in Hartlepool.

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The meeting will look at how to address long-term issues for the steel sector and propose steps to protect the industry.

Among those attending will be representatives of the GMB union.

GMB National Officer Dave Hulse said: “We are looking for real progress being made with the formulation of this new group. Since the Steel Summit on October 16, things have been moving at a very slow pace.

“We have gone from crisis to crisis and really need to see action now otherwise GMB fears for the long term future of the steel industry.”

This meeting comes on the back of 2,200 redundancies from the SSI owned Redcar steelworks, 1,200 Tata redundancies in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire and over 700 In Port Talbot.

Other proposed redundancies in Rotherham, Stocksbridge, Wednesbury, Trostre, Corby and Hartlepool have led to over 5,000 jobs lost over the past few months which has devastated communities throughout the UK.

It was only in January that Tata Steel confirmed it was slicing 1,050 jobs off its UK operation.

That included its Brenda Road site in Hartlepool which will shed 62 posts out of a town workforce of 500 steelworkers

The steel industry is vital to the UK, directly employing almost 18,000 people in production and contributing around £9.5bn to the economy.