Opinion Former Article

Unite the Union: Workers march for Corus Teesside steel works

Thousands of workers from across Teesside will march through Redcar, Teesside on Saturday (18th) in a fight to protect the region's Corus plant.

Unite, a leading union at the plant, is one of a coalition of unions who say the community in Teesside will be devastated if the Corus plant was to be shutdown, as many local families and businesses depend on the plant for their livelihoods.

Workers and their families will be carrying placards saying: "Save our Steel" as part of the campaign to safeguard the 150 year old plant. This is in response to news that some 2,000 workers are under threat since a consortium of companies pulled the plug on a 10 year purchasing contract.

Unite believes that as well as the potential loss of 2,000 direct jobs, another 1,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the closure of Teesside Cast Products.

Derek Simpson, Unite joint general secretary, said: "In a show of defiance Unite members will march to demonstrate that 150 years of iron and steelmaking in Teesside matters. The loss of the Corus plant will rip the heart out of this local community.

"The thousands of workers at Corus must be supported in order to maintain a viable world-class industry in the future."

Tony Woodley, Unite joint general secretary, said: "The precarious situation of the Corus workforce in Teesside represents the utter failure to protect the UK's steel sector. If this site is not secured there will be a knock on effect across the supply chain in Teesside, many companies depend on this Corus plant.

"Workers and their families will march to send a clear message to the management of Corus and the Government, this community must not be forgotten."

The march has been organised by Unite the Union, SIMA, Community, GMB and UCATT.

DATE: Saturday, 18th July 2009
TIME: 12.00pm - 4pm, march departs at 2pm
MEETING POINT: Majuba Road car park, Redcar

On 8th May 2009 Corus announced the possible mothballing of the Teesside Cast Products (TCP) plant, with the potential loss of 2,000 jobs and another 1,000 indirect jobs at TCP. This announcement was made following the breakdown of the talks between Corus and its four consortium partners who walked away from the 10 year deal to take slab from TCP.

On 18th May the knock on effect to other Corus businesses on Teesside came with an announcement of 400 job losses in areas associated with TCP.

On 25th June Corus announced a further 428 jobs at risk across Teesside

For more information or for interviews please contact:

Saba Mozakka
Communications Officer
35 King Street
Telephone: 020 7420 8916
Fax: 020 7420 8998
Mobile: 07768 693 953

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