The North East Shop Stewards Network (NESSN) hosted a meeting in Teesside on Monday night, attempting to co-ordinate efforts to save jobs at Corus and put nationalisation firmly on the political agenda. One participant reports, 'Over 30 people attended the public meeting Defend Every Job! Nationalise Corus Steel! There was a good range of activists at this meeting, several members of national union bodies, branch secretaries as well as shop stewards. The meeting also included Labour party members including a member of its national Executive Committee and Vera Baird’s secretary [Baird is Labour MP for Redcar and a very long way from the Left].
Speakers from the floor discussed a variety of issues. The anger regarding the bail-outs given to bankers, while no bail-out was forthcoming for Corus. Corus TCP was a profitable going concern. The threat posed by the BNP, who were holding a meeting down the road, if no credible fight was put up by the labour movement. The role played by Visteon and Vestas workers who had occupied their workplaces was raised. The need for green planning – Corus could produce the steel for wind turbines etc. The scandal that Corus would profit in terms of millions of pounds from playing the markets with the carbon trading allowance for the plant. The possibility of standing candidates in the General election against the sitting MPs who have failed the Corus workers. And how we can help to Corus workers fight to keep the plant open?'
The meeting also agreed to support a public meeting in Redcar next Monday (21 December), starting at 7pm. The 'Save our Steel' meeting, organised by Right to Work and NESSN, is at Corus Sports and Social Centre, 33 South Avenue, Redcar, TS10 5LZ.
EXTRA: See HERE for video.