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Steel Jobs Axed
The Community trade union has confirmed that around 70 jobs will be axed before Christmas at the troubled Clydebridge and Dalzell steel plants.
The news follows the end of the 45-day consultation period for workers at owner Tata’s Lanarkshire factories.
A statement released by Community, the steelworkers’ union, said: “We can confirm that we understand 70 people will be made redundant before Christmas.”
But a spokesman could not specify exactly where the cuts would take place: “At this stage we don’t know the exact details but the job losses may be across both Dalzell and Clydebridge.”
Despite the gloomy news, Clydebridge shop steward Derek Fearon remains hopeful about finding a resolution to the situation.
He said: “Community continues to play an active role in the search for a new commercial operator at Dalzell and Clydebridge. Meanwhile, we have been working with Tata Steel to secure an enhanced redundancy package for all those workers affected. Following extensive negotiations, Community has secured a redundancy deal which goes beyond previous agreements and will see any worker made redundant receive a significant package.”
But he insisted the Scottish Government must do everything in its power to protect the integrity of the steelworks and the skill base that exists within them
“It is these assets and skills that will attract a serious buyer and again enable first-class steel to continue being produced in Scotland,” he said.
Community also said that any workers who lose their jobs in the current round of redundancies may be rehired in the future if a new buyer is found.
Margaret Ferrier, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, stressed that work is continuing to secure a buyer for the plants.
She said: “Since our last task force meeting I have held regular discussions with Tata, who I know have been in constant contact with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.
“Although the 45-day consultation period has ended, there is still work going on to find an alternative buyer. I am aware that redundancy packages are in place to take effect later this month. However, hard work is still going on behind the scenes to try to avert this.
“With the next task force meeting on Friday, I hope to hear that progress has been made with prospective buyers and that negotiations are moving forward positively.”
Labour MSP James Kelly said: “It really is a terrible time for workers to receive news of redundancy. Community believes it has negotiated enhanced terms. However, I say it is critical that the Scottish Government does all in its power to support those who may lose their jobs and makes every effort to retain the remaining jobs and assets at both plants. I do hope we see an alternative buyer coming to the table urgently.
“That is what is needed at this time: a signal that these plants can be saved and a buyer found.”