Axe falls on steel work­ers

Cly­de­bridge plant to close

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Strat­ton Wil­liams

The axe is about to fall on 128 years of steel­mak­ing at Cly­de­bridge in Cam­bus­lang.

Own­ers Tata an­nounced yes­ter­day that 45 jobs at the plant – which opened in 1887 – are un­der threat.

The In­dian-owned com­pany main­tain the plant has only been moth­balled at the mo­ment and have en­tered into a pe­riod of con­sul­ta­tion with em­ploy­ees and unions.

But it is un­der­stood there re­mains no great hope that the plant or the jobs will be saved. Tata also an­nounced the clo­sure of Dalzell Steel­works in Mother­well with the loss of 225 jobs.

Work­ers leav­ing the Cam­bus­lang fac­tory af­ter yes­ter­day’s an­nounce­ment were stunned.

“It’s dev­as­tat­ing,” said Mark Young, 26, of New­ton Farm in Cam­bus­lang. I’ve got two young kids aged three and one as well as a huge mort­gage.

“There’s no chance of me find­ing other work in the steel industry – I’ll just need to hope for the best and get any job I can.”

An­other worker from Cam­bus­lang, who asked not to be named, said: “I’m 57 and will find it tough at my age to get an­other job. I’ve worked here for eight years – the sec­ond time I’ve been em­ployed here.

“But now ev­ery­one’s job is on the line, it’s a sad, sad day.”

Derek Fearon, sec­re­tary of Cly­de­bridge 02 branch of the Com­mu­nity Union, said: “We have been told to­day by the com­pany that we are en­ter­ing a pe­riod of con­sul­ta­tion.

“It is ex­pected to start next week and run for a min­i­mum of 45 days – but will last as long as it takes.

“All av­enues will be ex­plored with the com­pany and the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to see if there are any po­ten­tial so­lu­tions.”

Mr Fearon also stressed that it was busi­ness

as usual at the stricken plant un­til ev­ery op­por­tu­nity had been in­ves­ti­gated.

“Tata has said it in­tends to pull out of plate-mak­ing – which af­fects Cly­de­bridge – but I hope a so­lu­tion can be found to the prob­lem.”

But fail­ure to do so, he ad­mit­ted, would lead to the “demise of the Scot­tish steel industry”.

The planned clo­sure not only hits Tata em­ploy­ees.

Sub- con­trac­tors who main­tain the build­ing at Cly­de­bridge ad­mit they will be hit hard too.

Paul Hamill, a dad-of-two, said it would have a knock-on ef­fect on his em­ployer too.

“We do main­te­nance work and struc­tural re­pairs, both here and at Dalzell.

“It is worth around £½mil­lion to my em­ployer. But this is go­ing to hurt us badly; it will have a big im­pact.”

Tata also an­nounced the clo­sure of Dalzell Steel­works in Mother­well with the loss of a fur­ther 225 jobs in the heart­land of Scot­tish steel­mak­ing.

I hope a so­lu­tion can be found to the prob­lem

Derek Fearon

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.