Fuel shortages, strikes and the three-day work week could force the layoff of 100,000 steel workers in the Unites Kingdom within a month.
GV PAN 'Port Talbot' sign to steel plant
GV ZOOM OUT FROM water tower TO terraced houses
GV Locals leaving church (2 shots)
GV PAN Houses PAN TO For Sale sign
GV Steel works
GV Nantgarw colliery near Cardiff
GV Tipper unloading waste from the colliery (2 shots)
GV Train carrying coke (2 shots)
SV ZOOM INTERIOR burning waste at steel works
SV Burning coke being dropped into containers (2 shots)
LV ZOOM INTO coke dropping int containers
Initials AE/22.05 AE/22.38
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Background: Fuel shortages, strikes and the three-day work week could force the layoff of 100,000 steel workers in the Unites Kingdom within a month.
A combination of a strike ny coal miners and a work-to-rule campaign by railway drivers has drastically cut the supply of coal for the coke furnaces that are the heart of the steel industry. Representatives of the Government-owned British Steel Industry (BSC), which controls steel production in Britain, claim that production will soon been reduced by 50-per cent. A further 20 per cent cutback is expected in the middle of January, leaving only enough coal and manpower to keep the cooking furnaces from being extinguished.
Many steel towns in Great Britain, such as Port Talbot in Wales, are already considered depressed areas. The black mood of such towns deepened with the recent government announcement that the work week is limited to three norman working days. Although workers will continue to be paid for five-day week until after Christmas, the production cut-backs will force layoffs within three weeks.
The situation is further aggravated by reductions in the capital budget for the BSC announced on Monday (December 17) by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Anthony Barber. Coupled with the current slow down in production, the budget cut will substantially affect the British Government's ten-year program to modernise the steel industry. This will add to problem of correcting Britain's trade imbalance as many export products are heavily dependent on steel.
In addition, the reductions in steel production will touch off layoffs in allied industries. Experts estimate that if the worst predictions for the steel industry are realised, as many as two thousand firms could be forced out of business.