Union expects job losses at Tata

70 steel jobs could go be­fore Christ­mas

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Strat­ton Wil­liams

The Com­mu­nity trade union has con­firmed that around 70 jobs will be axed be­fore Christ­mas at the trou­bled Cly­de­bridge and Dalzell steel plants.

The news fol­lows the end of the 45- day con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod for work­ers at owner Tata’s La­nark­shire fac­to­ries.

A state­ment re­leased by the Com­mu­nity, the steel­work­ers’ union, yes­ter­day said: “We can con­firm that we understand 70 peo­ple will be made re­dun­dant be­fore Christ­mas.”

But a spokesman could not spec­ify ex­actly where the cuts would take place: “At this stage we don’t know the ex­act de­tails but the job losses may be across both Dalzell and Cly­de­bridge.”

De­spite the gloomy news, Cly­de­bridge shop stew­ard Derek Fearon re­mains hope­ful about find­ing a res­o­lu­tion to the sit­u­a­tion.

He said: “Com­mu­nity con­tin­ues to play an ac­tive role in the search for a new com­mer­cial op­er­a­tor at Dalzell and Cly­de­bridge.

“Mean­while, we have been work­ing with Tata Steel to se­cure an en­hanced re­dun­dancy pack­age for all those work­ers af­fected.

“Fol­low­ing ex­ten­sive ne­go­ti­a­tions, Com­mu­nity has se­cured a re­dun­dancy deal which goes be­yond pre­vi­ous agree­ments and will see any worker made re­dun­dant re­ceive a sig­nif­i­cant pack­age.”

But he in­sisted the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment must do ev­ery­thing in its power to pro­tect the in­tegrity of the steel­works and the skill base that ex­ists within them

“It is th­ese as­sets and skills that will at­tract a se­ri­ous buyer and again en­able first-class steel to con­tinue be­ing pro­duced in Scot­land,” he said.

Com­mu­nity also said that any work­ers who lose their jobs in the cur­rent round of re­dun­dan­cies may be re­hired in the fu­ture if a new buyer is found.

Mar­garet Fer­rier, MP for Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West, stressed that work is con­tin­u­ing to se­cure a buyer for the plants.

She said: “Since our last task force meet­ing I have held reg­u­lar dis­cus­sions with Tata, who I know have been in con­stant con­tact with Scot­tish En­ter­prise and the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.

“Al­though the 4 5 - d ay con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod has ended, there is still work go­ing on to find an al­ter­na­tive buyer.

“I am aware that re­dun­dancy pack­ages are in place to take ef­fect later this month. How­ever, hard work is still go­ing on be­hind the scenes to try to avert this.

“With the next task force meet­ing on Fri­day, I hope to hear that progress has been made with prospec­tive buy­ers and that ne­go­ti­a­tions are mov­ing for­ward pos­i­tively.”

Labour MSP James Kelly said: “It really is a ter­ri­ble time for work­ers to re­ceive news of re­dun­dancy.

“Com­mu­nity be­lieves it has ne­go­ti­ated en­hanced terms. How­ever, I say it is crit­i­cal that the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment does all in its power to sup­port those who may lose their jobs and makes ev­ery ef­fort to re­tain the re­main­ing jobs and as­sets at both plants.

“I do hope we see an al­ter­na­tive buyer com­ing to the ta­ble ur­gently.

“That is what is needed at this time: a sig­nal that th­ese plants can be saved and a buyer found.”

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Plant Talks are still go­ing on find a buyer for Cly­de­bridge Steel

Hope­ful Derek Fearon

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