Corby steelworks strike: Tata urges trade unions to reconsider industrial action

Tata Steel in Corby
Tata Steel in Corby

Tata Steel is urging the trade unions to reconsider strike action in the ongoing dispute over pensions.

Earlier this week GMB and other steel unions said members at Tata sites, including Corby, would be going on strike on Monday, June 22.

We hope that these important changes to our proposals will be welcomed by employees and that the trade unions reconsider industrial action

They say it is time for Tata to get back round the table and look for a way to resolve the dispute.

The chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations has since met with MPs to discuss the proposed changes to the firm’s UK pension arrangements and the trade unions are being urged to reconsider industrial action.

A statement from Tata Steel released after the meeting said: “Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, met MPs in the All Party Parliamentary Group for Steel following an invitation to discuss the proposed changes to the company’s UK pension arrangements.

“During the meeting Mr Koehler explained the context behind the company’s continuing efforts to develop a fair and sustainable pension scheme for UK employees.

“The scheme is faced with a projected shortfall of up to £2 billion, which both the company and the unions agree makes change necessary.

“In a robust and constructive dialogue Mr Koehler answered all the questions MPs asked him.

“He assured them the company shares their concerns about potential industrial action, particularly in view of the urgent need to continue the focus on investing in Tata Steel’s UK assets.

“Mr Koehler also reiterated that the company remains open even at this late stage to unconditional talks with the unions to find resolutions in good faith to the very serious challenges that require the pension scheme to be reformed.

“But he stressed that decisions on dealing with these challenges must be made imminently.

“We have over the last few months listened carefully to our employees during an extensive consultation process involving thousands of employees.

“In response to this feedback, we will soon be announcing new measures which will lessen the impact of the proposed pension changes, particularly on our longest-serving employees nearing retirement age.

“We hope that these important changes to our proposals will be welcomed by employees and that the trade unions reconsider industrial action.”