Sheffield steel: Unite launches Sheffield campaign to 'target votes and reverse decline in steel industry'
Unite says it will campaign with voters to demand "politicians from all parties commit to a workers’ steel plan"
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It is launching the campaign with the unveiling of a billboard on Meadowhall Road, Sheffield, at 2pm on September 20.
The grassroots campaign will focus on engaging with communities that depend on steel to build pressure on politicians and pledge support for measures, safeguard existing employment, and create "thousands of new decent jobs for generations to come".
The plan includes:
1. Change procurement rules to let UK public contracts use 100 per cent UK steel. the union claims "this alone" can create 8,000 jobs.
2. Public investment for a Steelworkers’ Transition Plan with no loss of jobs. Unite says it wants to see phased workers’ transition to Green Steel while doubling capacity to rebuild the industry and grow jobs. It claims the investment needed is £1 billion per year over 12 years and it will "pay for itself" with increased revenue.
3. Tackle energy prices by bringing in electricity price caps and public ownership of the grid to make British steel even more competitive.
4. "Take a stake" - Public investment for steel must come with solid job guarantees.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Sheffield’s steel industry can have a bright future but the time to fight for it is now. Unite’s campaign will ensure that politicians of all stripes in Sheffield cannot wriggle free from the critical action needed to save the industry with warm words that never amount to anything.
“Unite’s Workers’ Plan for Steel shows politicians have the opportunity to make the UK a world leader in steel production – we will be doing everything in our power to make sure they grasp it.”