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Campaign for future of steel [print version]

Billboard in Sheffield with the steel campaign message. Photo Workers.

Unite the Union has launched a new campaign to highlight the decline in Britain’s steel industry. Its plan for the future of the industry includes a demand that public contracts in Britain are obliged to use British steel.

The union wants to safeguard existing employment and calls for a doubling of steelmaking capacity to rebuild the industry and create thousands of new jobs. It points to past underinvestment in the industry, but says it has a future with the right political choices.

The union has launched the campaign in Sheffield, Scunthorpe, Middlesbrough and Port Talbot, areas where steel is still a crucial part of local industry. This campaign quite rightly challenges both prime minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer – it asks about whose side they are on when it comes to steel making.

The union has commissioned huge billboards along with local newspaper adverts to get the message over. This is supported by a team of union organisers who are charged with talking to local people, seeking to persuade them to make demands on their local MPs and other politicians to support the aims of Unite’s campaign.

• A longer version of this article is on the web at www.cpbml.org.uk