Labour MEPs have demanded urgent EU action on the steel crisis at an emergency meeting of ministers tonight.
Labour MEPs, together with trade unionists from GMB and Unite, held a rally outside the European Commission ahead of the meeting, calling on business secretary Sajid Javid and fellow EU ministers to come up with measures to tackle the threats facing the steel industry.
Amongst the measures Labour MEPs are pushing national governments to take include strong action against China for steel dumping — selling steel at uneconomic prices.
Richard Corbett MEP, Labour’s deputy leader in the European Parliament, said:
All around us people who work in the steel industry are losing their jobs, in the UK and across the European Union. In my own constituency of Yorkshire & Humber, 900 people have lost their jobs at the Tata works in Scunthorpe.
We need urgent EU action to address this crisis, including stronger anti-dumping measures so that our steel industry can compete on a level playing field.
And we also need the UK government to access current EU funding to which we are entitled — yet it has ruled out applying for help from the Globalisation Adjustment Fund. That’s £5 million lying unused that could be spent on helping our communities.
Answers to this crisis cannot be found by acting alone. Only by working together at EU level can we hope to put pressure on the Chinese government over steel dumping, and come up with Europe-wide solutions to these problems.
Our steel industry is competitive and productive, with a highly skilled and experienced workforce that deserves to be supported and protected – EU ministers must put in place the measures to allow us to compete on a level playing field.