One of the country?s biggest trade unions yesterday demanded selective import controls of goods manufactured overseas in a bid to halt the loss of jobs in British industry.
The Transport and General Workers? Union also urged the Government and local authorities to help secure British jobs by having a ?pro-active? purchasing policy.
National officer Dave Osborne told Chancellor Gordon Brown at the union?s biennial conference in Blackpool that 800,000 jobs had been lost in manufacturing since Labour came to power in 1997.
Many of the job cuts resulted from car companies sourcing components overseas to reduce costs.
Mr Osborne said: ?We want the Government to put the #109 billion public procurement budget to work for British manufacturing.
?Why does the Government offer less support in terms of state aid to manufacturing than their counterparts in Europe??
Mr Osborne asked what was wrong with taxpayers? money being put to good use for British jobs.
He also attacked the level of fines imposed on employers who did not comply with a European directive on consulting with workers about redundancies and other employment changes.
The delegates called for a programme of renationalisation of public utilities and transport, and special measures to protect areas of the economy including selective import controls of goods manufactured overseas as a result of work being transferred out of Britain.
Tony Woodley, general secretary, launched a series of attacks against the Government and Ministers for refusing to do more to help working people.
He said he was furious with the Government for continuing to block the Working Time Directive which aims to limit the working week to 48 hours.
With Mr Brown sitting on the platform, he said there were ?warning signs? for the Government during Labour?s historic election victory in May.
He called for a ?proper? corporate killing law and said policies agreed by Labour at its annual conference such as those on public ownership of the railways and a review of the ?scandal ridden? private finance initiative should be implemented.
Mr Woodley also called for more Government support for manufacturing.
Today, the Chancellor is expected to renew his call for Europe to wake up to the challenges of increased global competition if it is going to provide jobs and wealth for its people.
Mr Brown is due to address the European Parliament after the monthly meetings of EU finance ministers in Brussels.
He is also likely to call on the 25-nation bloc to set a date for ending subsidies to its farmers that Britain says distort trade and hurts farmers in poor countries.
Leaders from the Group of Eight countries pledged on Friday to end farm export aid but set no deadline. The Chancellor wants the subsidies to be scrapped by 2010.
Britain has argued that the EU should not spend 40 per cent of its budget on agriculture.