Posted: Fri 17th Feb 2017

Tata Steel: Company needs to rebuild trust following months of uncertainty say unions

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017

As the dust settles from a ballot result which saw Shotton steel workers and their Tata colleagues across the UK accept a turnaround plan, unions called on the company to start rebuilding trust with its workforce following months of uncertainty.

Around three-quarters of Tata UK steel workforce backed the ‘significantly improved proposals’ negotiated by unions and the company in a ballot on Wednesday.

The result and subsequent acceptance of the plan could secure the future of 8,000 jobs in the UK, in return workers will see reduced terms to their pension benefits.

[miptheme_quote author=”Delayn AM Hannah Blythyn speaking in the National Assembly” style=”boxquote text-left”]Following the announcement, I’m calling on TATA to honour their commitment to the UK steel industry and stand by their obligations to the workforce.

Shotton Steel is a profitable and successful site, and the UK government must back up their warm words with a support package that delivers for the steel sector.

Shotton Steel is a site which produces viable and innovative products – something which must be recognised by Tata going forward.

It’s important to underline the hard-work and dedication shown by steel unions throughout this process – I know first-hand how hard reps work at our local Shotton Site and I will continue to work closely with them going forward.[/miptheme_quote]

Under the proposed changes, the British Steel Pension Scheme will close to future accrual, replaced with a defined contribution scheme with maximum contributions of 10% from Tata and 6% from workers.

In a multi union statement officials said;

There are still a number of aspects surrounding the closure of BSPS to future accrual that remain unresolved.

The outcome of Wednesday’s ballot has taken us one positive step further, but there is still some distance to travel on this issue before it can be satisfactorily resolved.

It is very clear that the situation the workforce has been facing since 29th March 2016 has festered and promoted a bitter mistrust of the company.

Following a year of uncertainty for workers, it was incumbent on the company to build up that trust again.

Union officials also say it’s time for Tata to ‘step up and keep its side of the deal’ by ensuring the £1bn of pledged investment over the next 10 years begins as soon as possible.

“We really need Tata to stick to its promises and get investment in to the industry so we get the state-of-the-art plant required to compete on the world market.” The statement says.

Union officials have also called upon the UK government to throw their support behind this plan to ‘ensure a sustainable steel industry for the UK going forward.’

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