5 Dec 2009



Steel giant Corus, owned by Indian multinational Tata, has decided to 'downsize' its operations in Britain, mothballing its Teesside plant in Redcar.

1, 700 workers will lose their jobs in what will have a devastating effect on them and their families and in turn will be a disaster for the local community. The effects will be similar to when the coal industry was subjected to wholesale pit closurers in the 1980s and 1990s

Jerry Hicks called on the Government to, "Stop this jobs massacre by nationalising the Redcar steel plant, making it a public utility to serve the public interest, and one that continues to provide employment across the community."

He went on to say that if our tax payers money is used to bail out the banks to the tune of £10s billions then we absolutely must intervene now to save these jobs, livelihoods and families.

He also added, "It has never been more obvious that there is a profound need for ‘joined up thinking’. The steel from the Redcar plant could be used in many important projects, especially in the area of combating climate change."

Massive investment in renewable energies, harnessing wind, sea and solar, would require all the steel that Redcar could possibly produce, for wind turbines, tidal barrages and countless other projects, not only saving the 1700 jobs but providing up to another million extra jobs in design, manufacture and construction.

The Labour Party has cried crocodile tears over the closure (just as it did with Vestas on the Isle of Wight), with business secretary Lord Peter Mandleson pathetically blaming the "unprecedented fall in demand in the global recession".

Similarly, the leaders of the union Unite have been far too restrained in their response. In contrast Jerry Hicks said "Unite bankrolls the Labour Party, providing a significant chunk of it’s funding: we must ‘call in our cards’ to force the Labour government to intervene on behalf of the Redcar workers. It's time for the country's biggest union to not simply campaign but to fight for jobs, people and public ownership".


Notes to editor: Jerry Hicks’ legal challenge forced the election for General Secretary in the UK’s biggest union Unite Amicus this year in which he finished runner up.

Unite is the country’s biggest Trade Union. It is also the largest single donator to the Labour Government donating £13 million since 2005.

Jerry Hicks is thought of as being a possible winner in next year’s election for General Secretary of the whole of Unite.

He can be contacted on: Tel: 078 178 279 12 email jo@benefield.force9.co.uk

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