Steelworkers demonstrate in Westminster

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Steelworkers from Port Talbot lobbying the talks between Tata, the government and the Unite union at parliament yesterday

FIFTY steelworkers and their supporters demonstrated outside Portcullis House in Westminster yesterday morning as negotiations between their Unite union leaders, the Tata Steel privateers and the Tory government were taking place inside.

There were chants of ‘Tory sellout no way! British steel is here to stay’ and Unite, Unite, we stand up and we fight!’

Steve Jones, who works at Trostre Works, a downstream site near Port Talbot in Wales, told News Line: ‘We are here to keep the steel industry going.

‘I think that steel production should be re-nationalised along with energy.

‘You can’t talk of steel without considering energy. It’s not so much for my generation, I’ve worked there for 37 years.

‘It’s the young people. What kind of future will they have? We have a powerful union. We must be able to win this.’

Leigh Williams, Unite organiser from Bristol told News Line: ‘We are here to send a message to Tata Steel not to make rash decisions.

‘We want not just to save jobs but to create new ones.

‘The Electric Arc plants which the government says they are putting finance into should be in addition to the existing steelworks.

‘Port Talbot as a town won’t exist without the steel industry.’

Mark Peacock from Birmingham said: ‘We’re here to support the steelworkers in the fight to keep their jobs. We think it’s vitally important.’

Shane Edwards said: ‘We’re part of a whole group from Birmingham who have travelled to London for this. We have to save the steel jobs.

‘I’m also very opposed to the new anti-union laws, the Minimum Services Act should be got rid of. As soon as one employer uses it successfully there will be a domino effect with all the others following suit.’