Steel work clo­sure is a mas­sive blow to area

Rutherglen Reformer - - Job Spot -

The an­nounce­ment by TATA of the moth balling of the Cly­de­bridge Steel plant has come as a ham­mer blow to the lo­cal area.

Our im­me­di­ate thoughts are with the work­ers and their fam­i­lies and the un­cer­tainty that this an­nounce­ment cre­ates.

We can only won­der at the tur­moil this has cre­ated in their lives.

There is also the knock on ef­fect on lo­cal busi­nesses that ben­e­fit from jobs at Cly­de­bridge.

The plant has been in ex­is­tence since 1877 and steel has been a big fac­tor in the lo­cal area.

I re­mem­ber as a young­ster grow­ing up in Half­way that the lo­cal Hall­side Steel works dom­i­nated the area.

The fac­tory hooter used to sound out across the area sig­nalling the start and end of each shift.

So the fight to re­tain steel pro­duc­tion at Cly­de­bridge is not only about those who work there but it is also about the need to keep the tra­di­tion of steel mak­ing alive in this area.

What is needed now is ac­tion not words. I wel­come Ni­cola Stur­geons act of set­ting up a lo­cal task force. How­ever, this needs to pro­vide clear lead­er­ship.

I have writ­ten to UK Prime Min­is­ter and Scot­tish First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon ask­ing for ac­tion on a num­ber of fronts.

Firstly, we need in­ter­ven­tion from the UK and Scot­tish Gov­ern­ments to se­cure the plants.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment in­ter­vened to save Prest­wick be­cause of its im­por­tance to the Ayr­shire econ­omy.

I be­lieve the same ac­tion is needed at Cly­de­bridge to save the iconic Scot­tish Steel industry which is so im­por­tant to the La­nark­shire and Scot­tish econ­omy.

Se­condly, all Scot­tish in­fras­truc­ture projects should buy their steel from Dalzell and Cly­de­bridge.

The new Forth Road Bridge used 37,000 tonnes of steel yet hardly any of it was forged in Scot­land. More than half was made in Shang­hai with most of the rest com­ing from Seville and Gdansk.

I am aware that that there are Euro­pean rules on con­tracts but the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment needs to be more imag­i­na­tive in how it

We can only won­der at the tur­moil that has cre­ated in work­ers lives

Sup­port James Kelly MSP with Coun­cil­lor Richard Tul­lett and Scot­tish Labour leader Kezia Dug­dale

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