Unite, the UK’s largest trade union, has called for specific goals on UK steel usage in the development of the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway project. The union has urged the government to ensure that a minimum of 95% of the steel used in the project is sourced from UK-based manufacturers.
The HS2 project is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK, with an estimated cost of Â£106bn. The project aims to connect London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds with a high-speed railway network, reducing travel times and increasing capacity.
Unite has argued that the use of UK steel in the project would provide a significant boost to the UK’s struggling steel industry, which has been hit hard by cheap imports and a lack of investment. The union has also highlighted the environmental benefits of using UK steel, as it would reduce the carbon footprint of the project by reducing the need for transportation.
The call for specific goals on UK steel usage in the HS2 project comes after the government’s recent announcement of a new procurement policy that prioritizes UK-based suppliers. The policy aims to support UK businesses and create jobs, particularly in areas that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unite has welcomed the new procurement policy but has called for more specific targets to be set for the use of UK steel in the HS2 project. The union has also called for the government to ensure that UK steel manufacturers are given a fair chance to compete for contracts, rather than being undercut by cheaper imports.
The call for specific goals on UK steel usage in the HS2 project has been supported by other trade unions and industry groups. The GMB union has called for a minimum of 90% of the steel used in the project to be sourced from UK-based manufacturers, while the UK Steel industry group has called for a target of 100%.
The government has yet to respond to the calls for specific goals on UK steel usage in the HS2 project. However, the recent procurement policy announcement suggests that the government is committed to supporting UK businesses and creating jobs, which could bode well for the UK steel industry.
In conclusion, the call for specific goals on UK steel usage in the HS2 project is a welcome development for the UK steel industry. The use of UK steel in the project would provide a much-needed boost to the industry and support the government’s aim of creating jobs and supporting UK businesses. It is now up to the government to respond to the calls and ensure that UK steel manufacturers are given a fair chance to compete for contracts.