The Scunthorpe Steel Works have provided jobs and income to families in the town for over 150 years. The announcement of 2,200 job losses and the closure of the Redcar plant started speculation in Scunthorpe. The news today that over 900 jobs would be cut confirmed the town's worst fears. The possibility of the closure of the Scunthorpe Steel Works is becoming a reality. As a Scunthorpe resident, I'm worried about the future. What will happen to my town?
The extremely low price of Chinese steel has been blamed by many in the British steel industry for the declining demand that they are facing. I understand that businesses have to make cuts somewhere and that Chinese steel can be seen as more attractive due to the price. However, businesses, particularly British ones, have to start thinking about people as well as profit. The two are intrinsically linked. If more people are unemployed, then they won't be buying your products and you won't make profit. There is a moral right to think about industry workers, yet it seems that they are being forgotten about.
A report showed that for every job at the steel works, there are four directly linked. This could lead to more and more people losing their jobs and cause Scunthorpe to turn into a ghost town. The main source of employment is the Steel Works. Generations of families have worked there. If the works were to be closed, then there would be nothing prosperous left in Scunthorpe.
Parts of the North are stilling suffering nearly 30 years after the beginning of the collapse of the UK mining industry. The last British coal mine still in operation, Kellingley Colliery, will close in December 2015. I don't want my town to suffer the same fate. Ex-mining areas have some of the highest percentages of people living in poverty. Deprivation, poverty and unemployment are the only things that seem to be guaranteed for British steel workers if nothing changes. A positive future doesn't seem likely, unless the government intervene. It's time that the North are helped rather than being given empty promises from the likes of David Cameron, George Osbourne and Sajid Javid. The plans of a Northern Powerhouse needs to transform into a Northern Power Region. The government should be encouraging firms to invest in the North before there is nothing left to invest in. It's great to see that London and the South are thriving, but when are we Northerners going to get a share of the economic benefits? Or will the North-South divide become even larger?
Channel 4's 'poverty porn' TV programme 'Skint' showed Scunthorpe in a negative light which probably led to even more people casting aspersions and prejudging a town that has helped construct the country. Scunthorpe needs support more than ever before now. The town survives thanks to the Steel Works, yet if Tata were to close the plant then the effects would bring the town and possibly North Lincolnshire to a stop.
A petition has been created to force the government to debate the topic in parliament. The British Steel industry needs as much help as possible. To sign the petition, click here.