TUC chief praises Forgemasters’ industrial relations

Good relations: Peter Birtles, from Sheffield Forgemasters, left with the TUC's Bill Adams and General Secretary Brendan Barber
Good relations: Peter Birtles, from Sheffield Forgemasters, left with the TUC's Bill Adams and General Secretary Brendan Barber
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TRADES Union Congress general secretary, Brendan Barber, has praised the management of Sheffield Forgemasters for cementing good relations with trade unions whilst continuing to take the business forward.

Mr Barber was speaking during a visit to the steel and engineering company’s Brightside Lane works with TUC secretary for Yorkshire and Humber, Bill Adams, during which he talked with management and shop stewards about the company’s strategies for employment and high-tech manufacturing.

He said: “I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to tour this iconic plant and look at the work being done here. Sheffield Forgemasters is a hugely important manufacturer working at the leading edge of its industry.

“The management is constantly seeking new opportunities to take the business forward. What is really important to see is the value that this business places on cementing good relationships with trade unions and I have been pleased to meet both management and trade union colleagues during my tour.”

Forgemasters non-executive director, Peter Birtles, said: “The chequered past of British engineering means that over the years, trades unions and management have had a difficult time just trying to maintain dialogue.

“However, in this company, many of the shop floor staff are actually shareholders and this, along with heavy investment in training and apprenticeships, has helped to create a strong working relationship between trade unions and management, with everyone focused on a stable future for the business and job security.”

Forgemasters has won a series of industry awards during the last year.

Awards include the Large Employer of the Year Award at the Apprentice Awards and the Made in Sheffield Award.