Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/21736

Posted on 11 November 2015 at 17:45 GMT

Marching to save Steel jobs, Scunthorpe, 10.11.15

Marching to save Steel jobs, Scunthorpe, 10.11.15   (Click to enlarge)

Trade union action needed to fight for steel jobs

Alistair Tice

Around 1,000 steelworkers, families and supporters marched through Scunthorpe on Tuesday 10 November fighting for their jobs and a future for the town's steelworks and the industry as a whole.

Hundreds more clapped and cheered along the route, honking horns and even getting out of cars to applaud the marchers. Plate mill electrician Charlotte Upton said "the support from the town and community is overwhelming, incredible."

And no wonder. Not only has Tata Steel announced 900 jobs to go at Scunthorpe but the very existence of the works in the town is in jeopardy.

Last week, Tata Steel Europe chief executive Karl Koehler stated: "Our strategy remains unchanged. Long Products will not have a future in Tata Steel."

If the works closes, Scunthorpe will become a ghost town, like South Yorkshire ex-pit villages before it.

Scunthorpe march, 10.11.15, photo by A Tice

Scunthorpe march, 10.11.15, photo by A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Labour politicians and trade union leaders spoke at the end rally demanding a "level playing field". But there cannot be a level playing field in the global market (ie capitalist profit) economy. Tata is a multinational company that like any other is cutting costs and moving production to where it can make the most profit.

China is 'dumping' its overproduction, forcing down world steel prices - these are the laws of supply and demand in a market economy. That's why the Socialist Party has campaigned all along for the steel trade unions and Jeremy Corbyn to demand nationalisation of the steel industry as the only way to save jobs now and secure the future for the steel industry.

As Charlotte Upton said: "If nationalisation will save the industry, then that's what needs to be done."

Significantly, Tony Burke, assistant general secretary of the Unite trade union, said at the rally: "If the job losses continue then we should call for temporary nationalisation of the industry like the government in Italy has done."

Scunthorpe rally, 10.11.15, photo by A Tice

Scunthorpe rally, 10.11.15, photo by A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

The call for nationalisation is growing after Jeremy Corbyn suggested it as one possible form of state intervention. That is because there's a growing realisation that even if import tariffs, lower business rates and reduced energy costs could be achieved, it would not be enough to save jobs now or stop Tata pulling out of Scunthorpe. And what other steel firm is going to buy Scunthorpe works if Tata says it isn't making enough profit?

Although it is still making big profits worldwide. Half yearly profits of 301 million for the six months to the end of September have just been announced. Where have all the profits gone? Why should workers subsidise Tata's profits anymore?

As Steve Miller from Scunthorpe who is the Unite executive member for the region, told the Socialist: "What we don't want is a so-called Northern Powerhouse based on workers doing 16-hour days churning out cheap goods on low pay. We want nationalisation with a purpose. For investment in manufacturing, in highly skilled, well paid jobs. For lower energy costs, affordable supply lines and dedicated customers."

The unions shouldn't wait for any more job losses. They should set a date for a one day strike across the industry and appeal to workers in manufacturing and support industries to show solidarity. And they should demand nationalisation of the steel industry now.


Click here for a report of the Motherwell steel jobs demo


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 11 November 2015 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Scunthorpe:

triangleSanctioned - a victim of government callousness

triangleSteeled for a fightback

triangleClock ticking on UK steel: it's time to act!

triangleSteel: public ownership needed as private buyers threaten pay and pensions

triangleTrade unions must join fight for steel nationalisation

Union:

triangleUnison national women's conference

triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

triangleFor workplace trade union organisation against sexual harassment

Trade union:

triangleStrike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

triangle2018: more upheavals loom

triangleObituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017

Steel:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleThyssenKrupp - Tata steel merger

Nationalisation:

triangleMcDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

Workers:

triangleBernie's book shows need for workers' party

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleHaringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/2/18

Haringey

No fudge with the right wing

15/2/18

TUSC

TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

14/2/18

Haringey

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

14/2/18

UCU

Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

14/2/18

Cardiff

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig

14/2/18

Carlisle

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

14/2/18

Firefighters

Staines fire services saved

14/2/18

Surrey

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

14/2/18

Woolwich

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

14/2/18

London

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

14/2/18

Mansfield

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

8/2/18

Newham

Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

7/2/18

Unison

Unison national women's conference

7/2/18

Royal Mail

Royal Mail forced back under threat of action

7/2/18

Walthamstow

'Occupy to save the town square'

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999