Workers at Shotton Steel plant will find out today the result from crucial pensions ballot.
Results of a ballot which could see job security for hundreds of workers at Shotton’s Tata Steel plant are expected this afternoon.
Unions at Tata had urged workers to accept a deal from Tata over pensions reform in exchange for investment in it’s UK steel assets, which in turn would secure jobs at Port Talbot and downstream plants such as Shotton.
Proposals announced by Tata Steel in December included a £1bn 10-year investment plan which would see blast furnaces at Port Talbot remain operational until at least 2021.
In return, Tata demanded workers make concessions on pay and terms, including agreeing to the closure of the final salary pension scheme to new contributions.
The Tata union ballot is said to be “too close to call” even though the combined unions back the plan to close the existing pension scheme
— Rupert Evelyn (@rupertevelyn) February 15, 2017
Tata has left thousands of it’s UK steel workers with very little room for manoeuvre, accept the reduced pension terms or face even greater uncertainty in the wake of no investment.
The Indian-based conglomerate would look (once again) to offload its UK steel assets, the same situation workers found themselves in last March when Tata first announced it wanted to sell the UK plants.
Since then Tata has engineered a position where they can’t really fail in what has amounted to a large-scale game of poker with the pension fund, it’s workers and the UK Government.
If the Tata Steel UK workforce backs the ballot the investment plans will bring an end to almost a year of uncertainty for workers and their families however, a new chapter would open with plans to tie up with German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp accelerated.
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