Corby steelworkers vote for strike action

Tata Steel in Corby
Tata Steel in Corby
  • Two unions announce ballots in favour of action
  • Biggest union to declare intentions after June 5
  • Row over pension scheme proposals

Tata steel workers belonging to two unions have voted in favour of strike action in a row over pensions.

Unions Community and GMB have announced today that its members have voted for industrial action.

The country’s largest union, Unite, is also balloting its 6,000 members at Tata Steel UK, which includes the Corby site, but this does not close until Friday, June 5.

The row is over the proposal to close the British Steel pension scheme (BSPS).

At present, workers can retire at the age of 60 without an actuarial reduction.

The company’s view is that they should now work until the age of 65 for a full pension.

If they were to retire at age 60 then, they would lose five per cent for each year of early retirement – 25 per cent in total.

GMB National Officer Dave Hulse said: “GMB members have sent a clear message to the company that they will not sit back and let them take away their hard earned pensions.

“The company need to take the threat away of closing the final salary scheme and comeback around the table to have meaningful negotiations before this is taken out of their hands.

“Our members will take whatever action is needed to keep the scheme open.

“We have lost faith in the company and its leadership and believe the company are putting the business at serious risk.

“They now have an opportunity of putting things right by sitting down with the steel committee and having meaningful discussions that is acceptable to all.”

The union says that as of December 2014, the British Steel Pension Scheme had 143,000 members, with 17,004 making up employee members and 91,264 making up pensioner members.

As of November 2014, the assets of the scheme were valued at around £13.6bn and continue to increase, says the union.

Tata’s main UK sites are at Corby, Llanwern, Port Talbot, Scunthorpe, Shotton and Workington.