On 31st March 1980 more than 6,500 steel workers in Shotton were made redundant by the then Tory Government, led by Margaret Thatcher. 36 years to the day I organised a meeting at Shotton Steelworks with Labour politicians from across North East Wales - joining with union leaders in demanding that the UK Government acts immediately to help safeguard the future of what is now a jewel in the crown of steelmaking in the UK and crucial to the North East Wales manufacturing economy
Together we met with Unite and Community Union representatives to discuss the future of the plant, which still employs 800 people and operates at a significant profit, providing high quality employment for people from across our communities.
Shotton Steelworks opened in 1896 and its current configuration contains two solid, well performing businesses with all parts of the plant at Shotton being profitable. This plant has risen from the ashes of the 1980s and I know first hand that workers at Shotton are committed and proud to to work at Shotton Steel - striving to ensure world and market leading products for a loyal customer base.
We cannot let the inaction of the Conservative Government of today ruin what the workforce in Shotton has built. I have and always will support our workforce and going forward will work with partners and politicians to fight for the future of this viable and profitable plant right on our doorstep that means so much to our region.
My politics and values have been shaped by growing up here during the 1980s - I'll never forget the devastating damage the then Conservative Government reaped on our workplaces, our communities and our people. We can't and won't let that happen again. Our steel workers and their families deserve more than warm words from the UK Government - they need action. I am proud of our industrial past and will always fight for our manufacturing future.