The Tory Attempted Murder of the Welsh Steel Industry by Nickglais
Craig Murray writes : The Conservative show of dashing home to look after the British steel industry is just smoke and mirrors. Savid Javid was fully aware it was being collapsed by subsidised and dumped Chinese imports, but argued that this cheap Chinese steel was beneficial to the UK economy more generally. Arguing against higher EU tariffs on Chinese steel dumping, Javid stated to MPs only six weeks ago “The responsibility of government is to look at the overall impact on British industry and jobs,” the Business Secretary said. “If duties get disproportionate it would have an impact in Britain and elsewhere on consumers of steel. Those businesses tell us it will cost jobs and exports if duties got out of control… “To go further might in the short term look the right way to go to protect industry but you have to remember in Britain there are also companies that consume steel as part of the production process.” This is pure Thatcherism. On Javid’s instruction, last year the British diplomatic mission to the EU (UKREP Brussels) was lobbying the EU commission against higher punitive tariffs on Chinese steel than the 13% the UK supported – even though the Commission found that dumped Chinese steel had an effective state subsidy of up to 72%. I have this from a British diplomatic source. So the apparent flurry of activity now is a blind. This is a situation the government was quite happy to see develop. Of course, the effects are in Wales, Scotland and Northern England. There are no steel mills in Tory constituencies. The banks received state subsidies to the value of £35,000 from every man, woman and child in the UK. Yet it is unquestionable dogma that not even 0.1% of that can be given to aid manufacturing industry. I can think of no legitimate explanation of this duality.
Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr says time for Wales to start thinking about its 21st century future - a future that we can take into our own hands and not be dictated to by comprador capitalists of India like Tata or the British Finance Capitalist State but the people of Wales taking the initiative from the bottom up - not relying on the top down hand outs.
We at the Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr call for two initiatives
(a) The knowledge of Iron and Steel making in Wales is 200 years old and Wales has historically been forefront of metallurgical change - it is important that an Institute of Advanced Metallurgy be established in Wales to keep and develop and innovate in advanced Metallurgy for the 21st Century.
(2) In times of crisis the spirit of co-operation is calling out to the people of Wales
We can learn from other communities like those in the USA who have suffered the devastating closure of their Steel Industry and the creation of Steel Co-operatives.
See article below on USA from 2012 - I have confirmed that the Steel Co-operatives talked about in this article are still working and developing
Wales and Welsh Steelmaking will have a future and we must make it so.
Peck reported on the MCC's ( Mondragon) collaboration with the United Steelworkers of America (USW) to identify and convert 5 steel companies to a worker co-op form of ownership.
Since the USW/MCC partnership was announced last October, the USW has been working to identify potential companies for conversions. Ten companies are under consideration.
MCC is interested in this partnership since it has been difficult to access North American markets. The partnership has great potential for both partners -- better market access for the MCC; and, preserving and growing membership for the USW. MCC has well established cooperatives in the steel industry such as Fagor, Ederlan and Arrasate.
The collaboration will be able to join the MCC's established global markets.
Employee ownership using an ESOP (employee stock ownership program) is vulnerable to domination by management and can ultimately work against the interests of workers. Both organizations value the role of labor. MCC considers co-ops an excellent way to promote community solidarity and self-reliance.
Peck noted that the discourse that views co-ops as socialistic is not accurate. MCC relies on capital markets and international markets. They acknowledge pay differentials but stress the importance of worker ownership of the companies.
Peck sees this as the right time for creating what he calls the "competitiveness renewal laboratories."
These are "Rust Belt" communities that are attempting to restart their economies in cities such as Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Cleveland with a focus on local purchasing anchors and an infusion of social investments to create jobs that will build assets and better compensated work for local residents.
"Both in Canada and the U.S., we see emerging "competitiveness renewal laboratories" such as Cleveland's Evergreen Cooperatives, reflecting Spain's Mondragon model and supported by progressive funding sources such as the Cleveland Foundation, and with technical assistance from the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC), and the Democracy Collaborative in College Park, Maryland.
These practical and successful next generation blueprints showcase how North America's working and entrepreneurial classes can shut the door on discredited models and reach for a better way."
Tories Lies about defending Steel Industry exposed by European Steel Association - Tories are called vermin for VERY GOOD reason
Charles De Lusignan, from the European Steel Association, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the UK had been blocking a European Commission proposal from 2013 to lift the lesser duty rule, which caps tariffs at 9%, as an anti-dumping measure.
"The fact that the UK continues to block it means that when the government says it is doing everything it takes to save the steel industry in the UK but also in Europe it's not," he said.
"European Steel and UK steel is viable so there is no fundamental reason why it shouldn't go on for the foreseeable future.
"But action should have been taken already. We find ourselves discussing a problem which should never have arisen and would not have arisen had we modernised trade defence instruments when we had the chance."