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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 December 2009

Corus steel closure

'Bail out our jobs, not greedy bankers'

Corus steel workers on the Unite jobs demonstration in Birmingham, photo Paul Mattsson

Corus steel workers on the Unite jobs demonstration in Birmingham, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Workers in Teesside are shocked and outraged at the news that the Corus steel plant in Redcar is to close by the end of January, with the loss of 1,700 jobs. "We were planning for Christmas, now we're planning for the dole queue," one worker told us.

Ed Hamilton, Teesside Socialist Party

Hours after the closure announcement, the Socialist Party took to the streets of Middlesbrough. People gathered round when they saw our stall with posters against the closure, demanding that the government bail out the workers rather than frittering 850 billion on the bankers.

People congratulated us on 'making sense'. "You're the only ones calling for nationalisation. Yet that's what everyone is talking about down the pub," was one response. "Why aren't our MPs calling for nationalisation?" said another.

The workers were angry that no-one was giving them any real information: "One of the lads was off sick and the only way he found out he was going to lose his job was by reading the paper," explained one person. "We've had no details of what sort of redundancy they're going to offer us," another angrily said.

Many left the stall with a copy of The Socialist under their arm, happier in the knowledge that there was an alternative - one that made sense!

Corus steel workers on the Unite jobs demonstration in Birmingham, photo Paul Mattsson

Corus steel workers on the Unite jobs demonstration in Birmingham, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The town of Middlesbrough has been built on steel making. But the skilled and hard working people of Teesside have been betrayed by the systematic sale, asset stripping and subsequent closure of the heavy industry that this area was built on. We have been left with some of the worst unemployment statistics and poverty in the country.

Kirby Adams, Corus chief executive, has said that the closure was 'very sad' news.

But Corus is owned by the Tata Steel conglomerate which announced nearly 3 billion in profits last year.

They are not interested in the devastating impact this will have on the local community. Their only concern is producing, not steel, but profits for shareholders.

We Demand:

Youth Fight for Jobs campaigners speak out

Paul Phillips, 21, Northern regional organiser of Youth Fight for Jobs said: "It is obvious that this government is not serious about safeguarding jobs. They are only interested in safeguarding the rich bankers and their large pay packets.

"This is a devastating blow not just to workers in Teesside but to the whole country. Yet none of the three major parties have come out in support of these workers showing that none of them represent workers in this country."

Hannah Walter, 24, Teesside, Unison national executive said, in a personal capacity: "The news that 1,700 jobs will be lost at Corus on Teesside is a devastating blow for local people.

"For youth in particular, with a 20% unemployment rate, this represents the destruction of more secure and well paid jobs on Teesside.

"The government has paid 850 billion to bail out the banks - but they cry 'poverty' when it comes to supporting ordinary working people.

"The trade unions should get behind the Corus workers and back any action they take, demanding that Corus is nationalised, not like the banks but under the democratic control of workers and the local community."

Defend Every Job

Nationalise Corus Steel

Public meeting called by the National Shop Stewards Network

Monday 14 December, 7.30pm

Westgarth Social Club, 99 Southfield Road,

Middlesbrough, TS1 3EZ.

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In The Socialist 9 December 2009:

Corus steel closure: 'Bail out our jobs, not greedy bankers'

Corus closure

Nationalise Corus Steel

Youth Fight for Jobs campaigners speak out on Corus closure

Socialist Party editorial

Socialist nationalisation - the only way to save manufacturing jobs and end the bank bonus scandal

Teesside steel: No trust in big business 'solutions'

War and occupation

End the war in Afghanistan

Global Warming

Climate change summit: Coming up short in Copenhagen

Socialist Party news and analysis

Free the Tamil boat people

Fight the political witch-hunt in Unison

Fast news

Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs organises demo in Barking

Socialist Party workplace news

New Labour gift wraps Tyne and Wear Metro

Stoke Axiom workers escalate the action

Save jobs at Borders

Twinings workers fight job losses

Management bullying? Surely not...

Socialist Students

Uniting to stop cuts at Sussex

Starting Socialist Students at a Coventry sixth form

No to student civic service

Northampton protest against student loan delays

Socialist Party feature

The legacy of Charles Darwin

International socialist news and analysis

Solidarity with striking South African miners

Scotland: The national question and the general election


English Defence League show themselves up

Socialist Party appeal

Christmas 2009 donation appeal

A present that can last all year - a subscription to The Socialist


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