Shotton steelworkers strike moves a step closer.
Members of Community, the biggest union in Tata Steel, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.
Workers are unhappy at changes to the British Steel Pension Scheme which could see workers retiring at 65 instead of 60.
The ballot was in relation to the dispute over the company’s proposal to close the British Steel Pension Scheme.
Community is calling for Tata to return to the negotiating table to seek a way to end the dispute.
Union members backed strike action by 88% and other forms of action by 96% – turnout was 76% – above planned new Government thresholds.
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community and Chair of the National Steel Trade Union Co-ordinating Committee, said:
“We stand on the brink of the first national strike in the steel industry for over 30 years. This is not where we wanted to be but Tata now has an opportunity to end this dispute by removing the threat of scheme closure and discussing alternative measures to resolve the challenges faced by the scheme, something the unions have been prepared to do since November last year. Throughout those discussions, the company said it needed to address a deficit of just under £1 billion and the unions were prepared to look at measures that would have wiped that out, without closing the scheme.
“Community’s members at Tata Steel have now spoken loud and clear. Steelworkers are determined to stand up to Tata. They have not been fooled by the company’s propaganda. They have voted overwhelmingly for their pensions, their families and their futures. The company should heed this message and return to meaningful discussions with the unions in line with Tata’s values of responsibility and integrity.
“Through Community’s network of Tata Steel union representatives, we will begin to consult our members on the kind of action that they want to take. Any action we do take will aim to cause maximum disruption to the company with minimum pain for our members. We hope this can be avoided if Tata return to the negotiating table with new proposals.”
The members of Community’s National Executive Council who work for Tata Steel will meet on Monday to discuss the next steps towards strike action.
Over 6,000 Community members were balloted across all Tata Steel UK sites. Results of ballots by GMB and UCATT members at Tata Steel are also expected today. The ballot of Unite members closes on Friday 5 June. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com