Sturgeon on steel jobs: “We will leave no stone unturned”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to visit the Dalzell and Clydebridge steel plants on Thursday to meet with employees, unions and management.

The news comes as Tata Steel confirmed it will shed 270 Scottish jobs at the two steel mill plants as part of nationwide cuts in the business.

Establishing a Task Force to seek a viable alternative to the potential mothballing, Ms Sturgeon said:

“This is a very anxious time for Tata Steel employees and their families and is deeply concerning for everyone involved.

“My government is determined to fight for a future for our steel industry.

“That is why I have established a Scottish Steel Task Force to be chaired by my business minister Fergus Ewing that will bring together all the key representatives to work to keep the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants open.

“We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to keep the plants open and support the 270 staff affected by today’s announcement.”

The Task Force, meeting for the first time next Thursday, will include representatives from Tata Steel, trade unions, North Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Government agencies and local politicians.

Fergus Ewing will also be writing to the UK Government to urge them to respond quickly to industry demands for action and to play their full part in efforts to keep the plants open.

Local SNP parliamentarians have pledged their support for the workers, their families and the affected communities.

Central Scotland MSP Clare Adamson spoke to union representatives outside the Dalzell plant.

“It couldn’t be clearer that the workforce is ready to fight for the future of our steel industry,” she said. “I – and everyone in the SNP – will be by their side every step of the way.”

Meanwhile Motherwell & Wishaw MP Marion Fellows and Rutherglen & Hamilton West MP Margaret Ferrier met with representatives of Community, the steel workers union.

Speaking later in the Commons, Mrs Fellows said:

“We’ll work with every relevant party at every level to secure a future for the plants. The UK Government now needs to respond quickly to the industry’s demands for action and to play their part in keeping these plants open.”