BRITISH Steel is to be sold to Chinese firm Jingye next Monday with the loss of 400 workers.
Jingye has offered a contract to 3,200 workers leaving 400 without a job. Staff who are to be made redundant have been told this will take effect when the transaction completes on Monday.
Ten months ago British Steel collapsed into insolvency with Jingye snapping the once nationalised industry up for a song.
Those who will lose their jobs were sent a letter from the accountancy firm EY, which is managing the sale, working for the government’s Insolvency Service.
The letter reads: ‘Jingye has informed us that unfortunately, at present, it is not in a position to issue you a contract of employment. However, should that change in the coming days, Jingye will be in contact to discuss possible opportunities.’
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community trade union said: ‘It is welcome news that the completion of the deal is now in sight.
‘This has been a long and, at times, very difficult process and so we are pleased to hear confirmation that Jingye will acquire British Steel next week.’
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: ‘Unite’s members at British Steel will be feeling a sense of relief today that the deal has finally been confirmed.
‘The lives of the affected workers and their families have effectively been on hold for 10 months since the company went into compulsory liquidation.’
Dave Wiltshire secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance said yesterday: ‘The trade unions, and in particular Unite have sold out their members with this deal.
‘Referring to the 400 sackings Unite’s assistant general secretary Steve Turner said “some hard decisions have had to be made in order to ensure the deal went through.” Turner added, praising the Johnson government saying: “While the government has played a crucial part in ensuring that a buyer for British Steel was found its role must not end here”.
‘He is effectively saying “Carry on Johnson”. It is obvious that job security requires the nationalisatisation of the steel industry and this is what Unite must start fighting for.’