Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Save Our Steel

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Save Our Steel

Article excerpt

Byline: By Helen Logan ,Evening Gazette

"United we stand, divided we fall," was the message hammered home by Micheal Leahy, general secretary of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation.

The Evening Gazette, which organised the event, was galvanised into action by the shock announcement by the industrial giant Corus in April.

People had been expecting a straight forward proposal - Teesside survives at the expense of other UK plants or Teesside is axed and other UK sites survive.

So it came as a big surprise when Corus said it no longer required steel from its Teesside works, where 2,900 people work and upon which more than 7,000 people in the community rely for their livelihoods.

Instead the site is being cut adrift by the company and will sink or swim by having to sell its products into international markets.

And because it was such an unusual and unexpected decision Teessiders need detailed answers as to how viable this plan is and how it can be achieved.

And that is why the Evening Gazette - under its Tees Pride campaign banner - got together with the unions and Redcar and Cleveland Council to gather business leaders, national union chiefs, MPs and other interested parties to address the concerns of workers and the wider Tees Valley community.

Mr Leahy: "Let's make it clear to Corus if reason and high productivity and co-operation doesn't work as it hasn't in the past, if the company returns to its old ways, we will resist."

Bob Shannon: "It is saveable, it's got all the attributes there that require a successful industry to succeed."

Dari Taylor: "The hope for all of us was when we met the local managing director who said he would be 'working his heart out' to achieve better for Teesside."

David Slater: "We're not at the crisis that this plant is closing, we're at a crisis where we have to map a new way forward. Government ministers are committed to working flexibly to make sure the way forward is an effective one. …

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