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UNITE has launched a campaign demanding politicians from all parties take action to halt the decline in the UK’s steel industry.
The campaign is coupled with the union’s own plan to save the steel industry — the Workers’ Plan for Steel.
In the steel towns of Scunthorpe, Middlesborough and Sheffield, the union has unveiled billboards picturing PM Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer with the question: “Whose side are they on?”
Unite is also placing advertisements in local newspapers, aiming to prompt commitments from politicians before the general election next year.
The Workers’ Plan for Steel lays down new rules insisting British steel is used in publicly funded contracts, which Unite says will create 8,000 jobs.
Unite also wants public investment in a transition to “green steel” production, a return to public ownership of the energy industry, a price cap on energy bills, and solid job guarantees in return for public funding in the steel industry.
The government has given Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant in south Wales £500 million, but 3,000 jobs are still expected to be lost.
Unite national organiser Joe Rollin said: “It’s about time politicians told us whose side they are on and backed the Workers’ Plan for Steel.
“Both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer are always telling us how patriotic they are. It’s time they proved it and backed the UK steel industry.”
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s Workers’ Plan for Steel shows politicians have the opportunity to make the UK a world leader in steel production — we will be doing everything in our power to make sure they grasp it.”
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