Steelworkers set to vote over industrial action in Rotherham and Stocksbridge

Tata Steel, Stocksbridge.
Tata Steel, Stocksbridge.
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Steelworkers in South Yorkshire are set to ballot for industrial action after Tata Steel announced proposals to close its pension scheme.

Workers in Rotherham and Stocksbridge will vote in a ballot from May 6 to 29.

It follows plans by the firm, which employs more than 2,000 workers, to close the British Steel Pension Scheme.

Members of the GMB, Community, Unite and UCATT unions say it will have a significant impact on them and their families

Roy Rickhuss, chair of the National Trade Union Steel Co-ordinating Committee, said: “Management have not taken up the unions’ offer to re-enter discussions about the pension scheme. Our members are determined to stand up for their pension and therefore we have no option but to proceed to an industrial action ballot in May.

“We do not believe Tata Steel Europe’s decision to close the BSPS is in line with Tata’s values, which commit its companies to improve the quality of life of the communities they serve.

“Steelworkers want to stand up to Tata and stand up for their pensions.”

A Tata Steel spokesman said the company’s door remains open to further negotiations with the unions.

He added: “The company tabled proposals to the national officers of the trade unions whereby the defined benefit, or final salary, scheme would remain open to future accruals subject to a number of modifications.

“As agreement on these proposals could not be reached, the company has initiated a 60-day statutory consultation period with scheme members on a proposal to close the scheme to future accruals for existing members.

“The consultation process provides opportunities for employees to comment on the proposals and to suggest alternatives that they wish the company to consider, other than the proposal of closure to future accrual.

“The company also remains committed to providing employees with competitive future pension provision.”