Liberty boss urged to honour promise not to close steel plants as Stocksbridge goes up for sale

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A union has responded to the announcement that Liberty Steel intends to sell its Stocksbridge steelworks stating they expect boss Sanjeev Gupta to honour a promise that no plants would close on his watch.

The GMB held meetings with Liberty/GFG Alliance this morning after the firm said it wanted to off-load the 762-strong operation because it was ‘not core to the Greensteel vision’ of melting scrap.

It also wants to sell two linked ‘downstream’ plants, the narrow strip mill at Brinsworth in Rotherham and Performance Steels at West Bromwich.

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Ross Murdoch, GMB national officer, said: “Sanjeev Gupta pledged no steel plants would close on his watch and we expect him to honour that promise.

A Liberty steelworkerA Liberty steelworker
A Liberty steelworker

“As ever, the devil will be in the detail and we await specific information with regards to the proposed sales.”

The Joint National Trade Union Steel Coordinating Committee said: ‘Stocksbridge and its downstream plants are strategically important businesses vital to our country’s defence, energy and aerospace sectors. The future for these businesses must be secured and the trade unions will hold Sanjeev Gupta to his promise that none of our steel plants will close on his watch.

‘Liberty must act as a responsible seller and run a transparent sales process which fully engages the trade unions. We will expect to meet any potential buyer to scrutinise their plans and test their commitment to the workforce and to our industry.

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‘Whilst we are encouraged that Liberty and Credit Suisse appear to be making progress on the refinancing, we need to see a solution to inject cash into the UK as a matter of urgency.’

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.