March to back steel workers

John Pentland MSP and Councillor Paul Kelly want a huge turnout for steel march
John Pentland MSP and Councillor Paul Kelly want a huge turnout for steel march

Supporters of Dalzell and Clydebridge are to march in Motherwell and demand government action to protect the steel industry.

It follows the decision last week by Tata Steel to close the plants with the loss of 270 jobs.

Members of the public and organisations are being urged to join the march on Saturday, November 7, from the Dalzell works in Motherwell to Ravenscraig where a rally will be held.

It is being organised by trade unionists, councillors, Labour Party members and MSPs. People are being asked to follow @MWSteelMarch on Twitter for more details.

Councillor Paul Kelly, chairman of Motherwell and Wishaw Labour Party, said: “This march is a chance to show our backing for the threatened workers and say we will not accept the closure of Dalzell and Clydebridge.

“We are encouraging all trade unions, communities, churches, and organisations and individuals across the political spectrum who care about the future of our steel industry to show their solidarity with the steel workers.”

Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland added: “I believe Scottish steel can have a future and we must consider all the options to achieve that, including public ownership. We have a Scottish Parliament and a Scottish Government who can intervene and support strategic assets when they are threatened. It happened with Prestwick, Fergusons and Grangemouth, and it can happen again to save our steel industry.”

Mr Pentland is also seeking a debate on steel in the Scottish Parliament next week

Meanwhile, Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows warned hundreds of jobs in firms which supply Tata Steel will be lost if the closures go ahead.

She said: “The UK Government must act now to ensure that steel has a viable future in Scotland.

“It must tackle the crisis in steel production now and the issues of extortionate energy prices and cheap Chinese imports must be addressed.”

The Scottish Socialist Party is holding a public meeting on the steel crisis and likely job cuts at North Lanarkshire Council.

It’s at Jim Foley Community Centre, John Street, Craignuek, on Monday (November 2) at 7.30pm.

Speakers will include Tata Steel workers, council trade union officials and SSP national spokesman Colin Fox.

Motherwell and Wishaw SSP wants local people to ‘get organised in a massive campaign to save the 1,500 local jobs threatened by the Tata Steel closure and council cuts’.

Branch secretary Sean Baillie said: “The meeting is called so people can plan how best to demand action from those in power to save every steel job and halt the threatened slaughter of council jobs, with the decimation of public services that goes with that.

“I hope we get a massive attendance to show those making these decisions that we are not going to lie down and accept the area being turned into a wasteland.”