Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Save Dad's Job Please!

I’ve been following and highlighting when I can the developments within the steel working community and particularly of those workers in my former home town Scunthorpe. And this year which I’m reliably informed, marks 120 years of steel making, as if such celebrations and their preparations are what steelworkers have on their minds in these the difficult dark days of uncertainty. I follow the posts and discussions that steelworkers have on the local newspapers website, and have done so for the last two years, they project and convey, make known, pass on information of just how bad things are looking, an insight into the thoughts of this once focused and proud workforce. And I say once; as I always come away somewhat depressed with a real conscious awareness that these workers have their backs to the wall and the bosses are milking them for all they are worth!

When you read some of the posts by young steelworkers, it’s as if you were standing next to them and they in turn are offloading their fears, what lies ahead, will we be in a job next week, next year and so on, these are men and women who do a very physical, dangerous and demanding occupation, and it’s as if they are being made to walk mentally across the top of the coke oven battery barefooted.

As I write and compose this post steelworkers are considering what action if any can be taken in regard to the Redcar mothballing last week of it’s last remaining blast furnace, and the dumping at a single stroke at the doors of the dole office 1600 workers, with a real threat that they could be joined latter by an additional 8000 from connected industry, what would be best described as the domino effect.

The steelworkers at Scunthorpe's Corus works could take industrial action in support of their colleagues at the mothballed Teesside plant, if trade union demands are not met, and the National Trade Union Steel Co-ordinating Committee (NTUSCC) has given Corus a 14-day grace period to choose its course of action over the future of the Teesside Cast Products plant or else! A statement released by the NTUSCC said:

"Corus now has an opportunity to show genuine leadership and to demonstrate its willingness to find an alternative future for Teesside by meeting constructively with potential and credible off-takers or buyers.

"If Corus fails to demonstrate the necessary leadership, statesmanship and progress in the next 14 days, regrettably, we will need to implement alternative plans to safeguard steelmaking across the UK."

Now this is fighting talk I suppose, but I wouldn’t hold my breath, the leaders of our Trade Unions are very good at talking big and bold and then slipping out of the frame after applying the damp squid.

One interesting statement came from disgraced Labour MP Elliot Morley he said: "I think the unions are sensible to have this 14-day period.

"The thing is to try everything to find an alternative customer or buyer for the Teesside plant because there are many thousands of jobs at stake there.

"If the situation was reversed, I would be doing everything I could to make sure the Scunthorpe works stayed open."

What’s he saying?

Here is a link to a short 1960 film made for the Panorama TV programme, very interesting I recommend you take a butchers! http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/panorama/2009/07/tata_to_british_steel.html

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