Trade unions, including Unite, stressed today (10 January) that for British Steel to be successful it must retain “high quality jobs” after a meeting with Jingye, the preferred bidder for the firm.
The National Trade Union Steel Co-ordinating Committee, of which Unite is a member, made the comments following a meeting with Chinese-firm Jingye in which the company made clear that their plans for British Steel includes ‘impacts on employment”.
The unions welcomed Jingye’s plans to invest in British Steel, which is currently owned by the government.
However they warned it that “cannot be just employees who are asked to make sacrifices for the success of the new business. For the company to succeed then everyone involved needs to make a contribution, including key suppliers”.
In a statement the committee said, “National and senior site officials from Unite, GMB and Community unions met with Jingye representatives yesterday (January 9), who presented their strategy for British Steel, which included encouraging plans for major investment in the business.
“However, their proposals to turnaround the business do include impacts on employment and detailed discussions will now take place to fully understand Jingye’s plans and get a deal over line.
“Those discussions will be ongoing over a number of days and, due to the sensitive nature of the issues on the table, we will not be providing a running commentary on developments.
“As we have said before, if the business is to succeed it must retain high quality jobs with good terms and conditions and this will guide our position through the ongoing talks.
“It cannot be just employees who are asked to make sacrifices for the success of the new business. For the company to succeed then everyone involved needs to make a contribution, including key suppliers. It’s in the interests of all stakeholders to secure British Steel and the jobs and communities that depend on its success.”