UK

Steelworkers march in Brussels against cheap Chinese steel imports

Men with placards protesting
Image caption Steelworkers are in Brussels protesting against "the dumping of cheap Chinese steel imports"

About 100 UK steelworkers have joined a march in Brussels calling for action to protect the industry and safeguard jobs.

Workers from North Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, Teesside, Scotland and Wales are among 10,000 people in Europe taking part in the demonstration.

They are demanding cheaper Chinese steel be halted coming into the EU.

Tata Steel announced in April that it looked to sell its UK business, but decided to pause the process in July.

Unions said the industry has also been hit by new laws and rules that increased operating costs for steel plants.

Unite national officer Harish Patel said the protest involved members from Tata Steel, which owns plants in Dalzell, Hartlepool, Port Talbot, Rotherham and Stocksbridge - and British Steel in Scunthorpe.

He said the industry was "hanging in the balance with the steel crisis still very much far from over".

Mr Patel said it was "vital the UK government supports action to halt the flood of cheap Chinese steel and secures tariff-free access to the single market in Brexit negotiations" and it had to "insist on using British steel for infrastructure and defence projects".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tata Steel announced its intention to sell its UK operations in April

Paul McBean, multi-union chairman at British Steel in Scunthorpe, said: "A vibrant steel industry is vital to the infrastructure of any country but over the last eight years we have seen widespread redundancies throughout the UK and across Europe.

"It is imperative that action is taken to protect the industry and safeguard thousands of jobs throughout Europe."

The UK government previously said a "great deal of work" had been done "to support the steel industry including tackling the dumping of cheap imports into the EU and buying British".

"The recent reopening of the plate mills in Scotland and the British Steel site at Scunthorpe, which has since hired more people, shows the sector can remain competitive with the right investment," a spokesman added.

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