Save Our Steelworks: Former Shotton worker fears history is repeating itself

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A FORMER steelworker has recalled the “devastation” and “heartbreak” caused by his redundancy from Shotton Steelworks 15 years ago.

And Alan Wainwright says he fears history could repeat itself as a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the whole of the British steel industry.

Mr Wainwright, now 62, had four young children when he was made redundant in 2000 after working for British Steel for 26 years.

“I got my redundancy in 2000 after 26 years at British Steel and I was absolutely devastated,” said Mr Wainwright, whose family had worked in steel for four generations.

“I feel devastated for the lads who are there now and all the guys in South Wales as well.

“I had a young family at the time and it came as a real shock to me and I really feel for the people at Tata and what they will be going through.

“The Government should have turned around and done something sooner, but it could be too late now.

“British Steel was an absolutely brilliant company to work for and it was a pleasure to be part of it.

“I hope people don’t lose their jobs because I know what it’s like to go through redundancy and it can break the heart of a community.”

Flintshire councillor Gareth Roberts, 77, from Holywell, worked at Shotton Steelworks when it was British Steel for 27 years as a computer analyst. 

He recalls a similar announcement of redundancies saying: “Once the cuts were announced, everybody was worried about losing their jobs. 

“We were all looking over our shoulders and we were very aware that if you stepped out of line that would be it. We were living in fear of our livelihoods.

“The Government and Europe could have done a lot more to put tariffs on the imported steel from China. The writing has been on the wall for about 12 months and Westminster and Cardiff have only taken note now. 

“There’s a lot more they could have done for Tata, like lowering business rates and the costs of energy. 

“Had the Government done that 12 months ago and pushed Europe to increase the tariffs, that would have been a very positive step and Tata would have seen that the British Government wanted them to stay. 

“If I were Tata, I would say that this Government is not really serious, so it’s time to go somewhere else

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