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Union disappointed by Redcar works delay

The union representing workers at the SSI Redcar steel works says it is disappointed by the latest delay to the plant restart, but is hopeful it will go ahead soon.

The Community steelworkers’ union was responding to an announcement by the Teesside plant’s Thai owner Sahaviriya Steel Industries that it will miss its 6 January restart date.

The original date was 8 December but that was put back to the New Year in November. The company blamed the latest delay on “unfavourable weather conditions, industrial action and additional unplanned, arising work”.

Union officer Paul Talbot told MRW the delay has been caused principally by industrial action by construction workers who are members of the Unite union and involved in a national dispute with construction contractors.

He said the action was not connected with the Community union or the plant’s steelworkers. He said the union is not aware of any reasons other than the industrial action for the delay.

Talbot said the union is “disappointed about the situation. Hopefully it will be resolved as quickly as possible and the start-up will go ahead as early in January as is feasibly possible”.

He said the union is completely confident the restart will go ahead soon; newly recruited workers are on site, have received induction training and have been recruited to the union. “We’re on an amber light here and just waiting for a green” he said.  

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