Unions demand government support to save Redcar factory as 2,000 workers face redundancy

Thousands of people took part in a march on Saturday calling for the UK government to save the Corus steel plant in Redcar, which faces closure.

Up to 2,000 jobs are under threat at the plant after a 10-year deal with an international consortium fell through and falling demand for steel compounded the problem.

Unions said up to 5,000 workers and their families attended the “Save our Steel” weekend event, intended to put pressure on the government to provide further help to protect jobs.

"Without steel there is no manufacturing base in this country," a union official has said

Roy Rickhuss from the Community Union said: “We need help, we need support from the government if the manufacturing base in this country is going to survive.

“And steel is key to that, without steel there is no manufacturing base in this country.”

A Department for Business spokesman said: “We have offered £5m in training support to help the workforce up skill for the upturn, signalling a real commitment from the government to Corus and its workforce.

“The difficulties that the company is facing are caused by an extreme downturn in demand for steel around the world.

“It is restructuring as it seeks to match production to lower demand and to position itself for to the future.”