Unite will 'fight tooth and nail' for Liberty Steel jobs

Liberty Steel redundancies announcement blasted by Unite

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Unite has slammed Liberty Steel’s latest announcement that up to 440 jobs could be at risk of redundancy under new proposals to restructure the business.

Liberty Steel announced on Thursday (January 12) plans to mothball three factories and cut production at another. The three mothballed sites will include West Bromwich, Newport and Tredegar, while production will be scaled back at the company’s site in Rotherham.

Commenting on the announcement, Unite national officer Harish Patel said, “Unite will be demanding forensic scrutiny of all aspects of Liberty’s plans following the announcement of these potentially massive redundancies. We will utilise every element of the union’s power to challenge these plans and their consequences for the long-term future of the Tredegar, Newport and West Bromwich sites.

“The government has also a case to answer: Steel manufacturing is a sector of critical national importance, both for the nation’s self-sufficiency and the thousands of jobs it supports,” he added. “Ministers must come up with a plan to solve the astronomical energy prices that are crippling the sector. The ball is in their court on this crisis – they cannot walk on by again.”

Patel went on to note that in announcing the redundancies, the company had “failed to consult in any way with the trade unions at the company. Unite will be fighting tooth and nail for every one of these jobs and sites”.

“The company’s behaviour in not informing or consulting with the trade unions before announcing this decision is disgraceful,” Patel went on to say. “Unite has been working closely with Liberty Steel to assist it get through its ongoing financial problems. For the company to continue these discussions and fail to mention the prospect of these massive redundancies to us shows a complete lack of integrity of behalf on Liberty Steel.”

By Ryan Fletcher