UK manufacturers ready to support government in struggle against virus

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:36:06 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

UK manufacturers are ready to support the national effort in the struggle with the coronavirus outbreak, but the UK government should take radical action, according to a statement released by UK manufacturers organization Make UK.

The statement said that steel manufacturers can give the government assistance with supports such as prioritising supply of specialist materials, providing necessary components for equipment required in hospitals or skilled workers for the manufacture of vital equipment. It added that the situation will have a negative effect on the UK steel industry and employment in the country if the government does not intervene.

Make UK said it welcomed the measures announced by the UK chancellor to tackle the coronavirus but it called on the government to take additional measures, such as introducing a short-time working plan which would financially support workers in the case of production cuts or the reduction of working hours, providing liquidity to businesses, such as loans or grants to cover operational and necessary capital costs and reduce operational costs for businesses.

Meanwhile, Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the trade union Community, stated, “Steelworkers are doing all they can to keep production lines running at this difficult time but people are worried for the future. We need the government to be clear that people’s earnings will be protected and jobs and skills can be retained. The government’s approach to British Steel over the past year was the right one to ensure the continuity of the business. Now we are asking for the government to step up again and give confidence to steelworkers across the UK that we can get through this crisis.”

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