Teesside steelworkers took their campaign to keep open the Redcar plant to the terraces on 12 December as 100 of them paraded around the ground before Middlesbrough’s match against Cardiff City. They were supported by the Middlesbrough players, who appeared before the match all wearing Save Our Steel T-shirts.
Around 1,700 jobs are under threat. Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson said the job losses would “rip the heart of the community”, adding he had not faith in industry secretary Peter Mandelson, whom he slammed as “unelected” and “untrustworthy”.
The Corus plant is owned by Tata Steel of India, which is set to make hundreds of millions of pounds out of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme by closing the Teesside plant and moving production to India (see Eurobriefs). A blast furnace, steelmaking facilities and coke oven are to be mothballed.
The plant used to be part of British Steel, which was sold to the Anglo-Dutch group Corus before Tata took over. Tata announced on 14 December that it was ditching the Corus brand.