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GMB At Brussels Steel Rally

Monday, November 9, 2015

GMB In Brussels For Steel Rally On Monday 9th November For Action From UK And EU Governments To Save Jobs In The Steel Industry

We expect Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, and his counterparts across Europe to make some serious decisions today to tackle the major threats facing the industry says GMB.

GMB, the union for steel workers, is attending a rally in Brussels on Monday 9th November to press the UK and EU governments to ‘Save our Steel’ and stop the ‘dumping’ of cheap imported steel from China and other third countries.

GMB will be joined by steel workers from the UK and other EU at the rally being held to co-incide with a special EU council of ministers that has been convened with a single item agenda – Steel. The meeting of ministers will be held at 16:30 local time until 18.30. A press conference will follow.

The details of the protest are as follows:

Assemble from 14.30 Monday 9th November,
On the corner of Rue Charlemagne/ Rue de la Loi 200,
Rally at 15.00 outside the Justus Lipsius Council Building,
175 Rue de la Loi,
Brussels

 

Dave Hulse, GMB National officer for the steel sector who is attending the rally, said “GMB calls on UK business secretary, Sajid Javid, and his European ministerial counterparts to take urgent action to stop the dumping of cheap Chinese steel, and to work on support measures regarding other issues putting major pressures on the sector.

The UK government has been slow to act in offering concrete support for the country’s crisis hit steel industry, which has been battered by cheap Chinese steel imports where steel prices have collapsed in recent months. The sector is also suffering from the effects of energy prices and the ETS (Emissions trading system) which impacts heavily on the industry.

We expect Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, and his counterparts across Europe to make some serious decisions today to tackle the major threats facing the industry in  the UK and Europe. We want to see specific measures to help level the playing field, including:

- increasing the speed and effectiveness of implementing trade defense measures to respond to price crashes in third countries,

- considering measures to support the industry in relation to the revision of the ETS and rules on carbon leakage,

- assess the impact of energy tariffs and how the negative impact can be remedied,

- a block on granting market economy status to China whilst they continue to dump steel on EU markets, and for a full social and economic impact assessment on the question of granting this status to China to be undertaken.

Sajid Javid cannot come back from this meeting empty handed – and if he does then he will need to have a cracking plan B.  GMB hopes he will learn from other EU countries such as Germany and Italy who have supported the steel sector more actively, as part of a practical industrial strategy, and come back prepared to do the same.

Ministers must recognise that the UK and wider EU steel industry is competitive and productive, and has a highly skilled and experienced workforce that deserves to be supported and protected. They have to put in place the measures to allow us to compete on a level playing field. We can’t do that with our hands tied behind our back.

Ministers must act now to stop the dumping of cheap Chinese steel, help with high energy and emissions costs and Save Our Steel.”

End

Contact: Dave Hulse 07971 266157 or Kathleen Walker Shaw in Brussels 07841 181549 or Jim Moohan, GMB Scotland on 07885 868405 or Shaune Clarkson, GMB Scunthorpe 07738 767561 or Jeff Beck in Wales on 07980 753 112 or Russell Farrington in West Midlands 07957 266519 or  GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

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