Axe falls on steel workers
Clydebridge plant to close
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