Tuesday, May 25, 2021

News: Reaction to latest Liberty Steel announcement


Reaction to Liberty Steel announcing its intention to sell some of its South Yorkshire sites talks of a potentially bright future for British steel but many local workers will be anxious again.

The intention is to sell off sites at Stocksbridge in Sheffield, Brinsworth in Rotherham and one in West Bromwich, and for Liberty to focus on the site at Aldwarke in Rotherham which turns scrap into specialist steel.

Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng said: "While I cautiously welcome progress being made to secure the future of Liberty Steel’s site in Rotherham, significant uncertainty remains for workers at those sites up for sale.

"I am monitoring developments closely and remain in regular contact with Liberty and trade unions.

"As Business Secretary, delivering a strong and sustainable steel sector is an absolute priority. There is a future for steel-making in the UK, and I remain committed to supporting the sector's low carbon transition to protect high-quality jobs.

"As always, we stand ready to support Liberty Steel's dedicated employees and their families affected by any developments. I'll be meeting the company, trade unions and local MPs over the coming days."

The National Trade Union Steel Coordinating Committee said in a a statement: "Stocksbridge and its downstream plants are strategically important businesses vital to our country’s defence, energy and aerospace sectors. The future for these businesses must be secured and the trade unions will hold Sanjeev Gupta to his promise that none of our steel plants will close on his watch.

"Liberty must act as a responsible seller and run a transparent sales process which fully engages the trade unions. We will expect to meet any potential buyer to scrutinise their plans and test their commitment to the workforce and our industry.

"Whilst we are encouraged that Liberty and Credit Suisse appear to be making progress on the refinancing we urgently need a solution to inject cash into the UK.”

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “The news that Stocksbridge Speciality Steels is to be sold off will be a cause for great anxiety among its 700 workers, and for the suppliers and wider community it helps to support.

“Their future, and the future of the steel industry in South Yorkshire, depends on finding a buyer willing to invest for the long-term. Both this site and the wider sector have enormous potential, but the government must act to help secure it.

“That includes being prepared to help provide finance to bridge any transition period until a new buyer is found – but also doing much more to ensure British-made speciality steel like that produced at Stocksbridge is used for the myriad of defence and infrastructure projects that need it.

“I will do everything I can as the Mayor of this region to support these efforts, and I met with Kwasi Kwarteng last week to raise our concerns and make the case for intervention. I ask the government as well as potential buyers to work with regional and local government in South Yorkshire and our Local Enterprise Partnership to find a long-term solution.

“British steel has a bright future as a zero-carbon, high quality, internationally competitive product. It would be a travesty for South Yorkshire and for the whole country if that potential was lost through lack of action.”

Local MP, Sarah Champion, said: "I will be closely monitoring developments and doing everything I can to ensure that jobs, as well as employees terms and conditions, are protected in any changes in the business."

Images: Liberty Steel


Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP