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Leader Comment: Why we launched Save Our Steelworks campaign

Published date: 01 April 2016 |
Published by: Leader Comment
Read more articles by Leader Comment


 

WHEN launching a campaign, you need to have a clear objective – and we have.

We want to save the profitable steelworks at Shotton and keep as many men and women as possible in employment.

The future for people in 800 Deeside-based jobs is under threat – and that does not take into account all the workers in other allied industries who depend upon their connections to the steelworks for their livelihoods.

No-one doubts the complexities of the steelmaking industry and its impact on the economy of the United Kingdom, the European Union and worldwide.

 

Indeed, you might feel you need a degree-equivalent education and hours of painstaking research just to gain a basic understanding of the reasons why we cannot simply continue to make steel at a profit for use in our own infrastructure projects.

So yes, we do acknowledge the complexities of a subject which involves, as examples, a glut of cheap Chinese steel, complex European rules governing what you can and cannot do in such circumstances and whether we are making enough use of home-grown steel in our manufacturing.

However, we also know we have to galvanise public opinion to reinforce the message to the powers-that-be that steelmaking in Flintshire must continue long into the future.

The mood of the campaign will no doubt be intensified because we are in the middle of election campaigns for the National Assembly for Wales and the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ ‘referendum for the European Union. And that will probably not be a bad thing under the circumstances.

Meanwhile, no-one knows what will happen to Tata Steel at Shotton and to the families of people who work there.

If the Indian owners of Tata Steel do decide to sell the Deeside plant, will it be put on the market as a separate entity, bearing in mind the Flintshire wing of Tata is not in the red?

How long will it take for prospective new owners to come forward?

The Prime Minister has already ruled out renationalising steel – even for a short period.

So what form will Government intervention to help save the steelmaking industry actually take?

So many questions and, at these worrying early stages, so few answers.

The people of North East Wales – and way beyond – will no doubt unite in support of Shotton and our Save Our Steelworks.

So do your bit for the industrial prosperity of our region, sign up and lend you backing to our campaign detailed on page five. 

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