Rotherham-based MEP calls for action to save the steel industry

Linda McAvan.

Linda McAvan.

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Wath-upon-Dearne based Euro MP Linda McAvan has voted for EU action to tackle the crisis in the steel industry.

She gave her backing to a report calling for a level playing field and action against countries like China selling subsidised steel at below the market price, or exporting it at below the cost of production.

A total of 550 Tata Steel jobs are to be axed in South Yorkshire, including 490 in Rotherham, in the new year, with many of the job losses compulsory.

Ms McAvan said: “The government’s inaction to assist the steel industry is creating serious problems. It has failed to take tough against unfair trade practices and refused to apply for EU funds to help retrain those facing job losses in retraining and business set up.”

The UK steel sector faces serious challenges through a combination of rising steel prices and an influx of cheap Chinese steel and increasing energy costs.

Ms McAvan added: “We must ensure that we work with governments across Europe to provide a future for the steel industry in the EU.”

This week Labour MEPs met with the EU Commissioner for Trade and steel worker representatives to discuss the steel crisis.