Unite demands British Steel is taken into public ownership

The government must bring British Steel into public ownership to avoid an economic and industrial catastrophe, Unite said today after it emerged the steelmaker is going into official receivership.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “Despite today’s announcement to place British Steel into official receivership, Unite will continue to engage all parties in the fight to secure the future of the company.

“We are clear that the government must now step up and step in and bring British Steel into public ownership until a buyer can be found to avoid an economic and industrial catastrophe.

“While Greybull cannot be allowed to walk away scot free and must be held to account for its stewardship of Britain’s second largest steelmaker, ministers cannot wash their hands of the Brexit farce and on-going uncertainty that has placed the company in difficulty, nor allow a business of such strategic importance to UK plc to disappear like the steelworks of SSI several years ago.

“To do so would be a betrayal of a loyal workforce that has made great sacrifices to make British Steel a success and send economic shockwaves throughout the Steel industry, UK manufacturing and the households of 20,000 workers in the supply chain who rely on the steelmaker for their livelihoods.

“In the coming days Unite will be giving our members maximum support, while we engage with the administrators and press the government to give British Steel workers a fighting chance to continue their 150 years of steel making history for generations to come.

“Unite will also press for a full investigation into the financial engineering of Greybull that has left the taxpayer picking up the tab for a trail of corporate destruction which has wreaked havoc on the lives of working people.”

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