Millennium Post

As Tata Steel plots to close pension scheme, UK TUs plan workers’ vote

Tata Steel’s plan  to close the British Steel pension scheme has trade unions up in arms, which on Monday announced industrial action ballot against the company’s decision. An industrial action ballot or vote is sought by unions to know the majority view of members on participating in the action — strike, lock-out and action short of a strike.

A decision is then taken on the basis of the results of the ballot. “Steel unions GMB, Community, Unite, and Ucatt have announced that Wednesday, May 6, is the date they intend to open an industrial action ballot on Tata Steel’s proposal to close the British Steel pension scheme (BSPS),” a joint statement by the unions said. The statement said the ballot will start from May 6 and is expected to end on May 29.

“All the unions are working together to defend our members’ pensions. There can be no doubt about the strength of feeling among employees in opposition to Tata Steel Europe’s unnecessary and unjustified decision to close the British Steel pension scheme,” Unite’s National Officer - Steel, Harish Patel said.

The company plans to keep in abeyance the existing pension scheme, which is likely to hit 17,500 existing workers and over 90,000 pensioners. There have been reports that the suspension will help Tata save 1 billion pounds.

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