Workers from the Dalzell plant in Motherwell were in Edinburgh yesterday (Wednesday) to attend a Save Our Steel members debate at the Scottish Parliament called by Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland.
Mr Pentland put forward a motion calling on the UK and Scottish Governments to take any and all possible action after Tata Steel announced it is to ‘mothball’ its long division plants at Dalzell and Clydebridge in Cambuslang with the loss of 270 jobs.
He said: “This Parliament should note with great concern the announcement of job losses at the Dalzell and Clydebridge steel plants and the detrimental impact that this would have on the workforce, their families, their communities and the local economies.
“Any curtailment or closure of the plants will have a significant and long-term negative impact on the Scottish economy.
“I welcome the creation of the Scottish Steel Task Force, and all avenues should be explored to prevent the closure of the plants, including UK and Scottish Government intervention to protect jobs and ensure the long-term viability of the Scottish steel industry.”
Mr Pentland’s motion was supported by a cross-party group of 28 MSPs including Uddingston and Bellshill MSP Michael McMahon and Central Scotland list MSP Richard Lyle.
During the debate Central Scotland list MSP John Wilson recalled the devastating impact the closure of the Gartcosh steel mill had nearly 30 years ago.
He said: “The closures, if they are allowed to go ahead, will have a detrimental effect not just on the workers in the plants but on the local communities.
“The closure of the steel mill at Gartcosh in 1986 devastated that community and the surrounding area. The closure weakened the local economy and resulted in job losses outwith steel plants.
“It is imperative that we do not let the same thing happen in Dalzell and Clydebridge!”
Motherwell and Wishaw Labour Party’s ‘Stand for Steel’ march from Dalzell steelworks to Ravenscraig sets off at 10.30am on Saturday.