I will be addressing the BDC of the Steel Industry Managers Association tomorrow (Saturday Ocober 29th) in Blackpool. SIMA is the Unite section covering professional and managerial staff in the steel industry. Along with delegates, there will be a number of guests from the Steel industry and it is a good opportunity to meet members and discuss the problems they face in the steel industry, in manufacturing in general, and warn delegates that the Tory-led coalition government is doing more damage to UK manufacturing than any previous Conservative government.
We are the seventh largest manufacturer in the world. Manufacturing contributes over £140 billion per annum to our economy and provides 55% of UK exports, employing over 2.5 million people providing real jobs at every level, from innovation and research to production and marketing. All of that has been put at risk by a Tory-led coalition government which is strong on manufacturing rhetoric but weak on delivery. For some of us, the black period of the 1980s will bring back dark memories of the destruction of the UK’s manufacturing base, when unemployment rose to over three million and the industrial heartland was laid waste by Thatcher’s government. This is now being closely mirrored by the same ideology, but now clothed in modern softness by the Cameron/Clegg government.
I intend to warn this government is repeating the mistakes of Thatcher the government has tied its own hands behind its back through an economic strategy wedded to public service destruction whilst placing a reliance on the discredited market to solve private sector ills. The government has no Plan A, never mind a Plan B and its whole manufacturing strategy is ‘shot to pieces’.
Delegates will hear at first hand idea’s from Unite’s strategy to help manufacturing through Unite’s 2020 Vision document – which we will formally launch at our sector conferences at the end of November.
So its up early to travel to Blackpool – and the Illuminations are on as well!