STEEL unions have issued a plea to SSI and the Government to save future of steelmaking on Teesside.

PHOTOS: The highs and lows of Teesside steelmaking

COMMENT: It is unthinkable to allow so many jobs to simply burn out

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of steel union Community, said the Government must take action to protect SSI’s industrial assets.

He said: “We fear that the integrity of some of the assets is under imminent threat, particularly Redcar Coke Ovens.

“Without action to preserve the assets, we will be even further away from restarting steelmaking."

The Northern Echo:
WARNING: Roy Rickhuss, Community union general secretary

It is estimated there is enough coke on site to keep the ovens running until the end of this week. 

Mr Richuss added: “If the coke ovens are damaged, it will be more or less over for the steel works.

“The livelihoods of thousands of families and an entire community depend of the actions taken by SSI and the Government in the coming hours and days.

“If the silence and inaction doesn’t end soon, then it may prove too late to save our steel.”

Mr Rickhuss was speaking at Community’s Teesside headquarters, which are the former offices of British Steel in Middlesbrough.