Tata Steel announces Scunthorpe plant deal

Tata Steel Scunthorpe
Tata Steel Scunthorpe
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Tata Steel has confirmed a deal to sell its Scunthorpe plant in a move that is set to safeguard thousands of jobs.

Tata Steel has confirmed a deal to sell its Long Products Europe business, including its Scunthorpe plant, to UK-based investment firm Greybull Capital.

The move will safeguard more than 4,000 jobs, but workers are being asked to accept a pay cut and less generous pension arrangements.

Greybull said it was arranging a £400m investment package as part of the deal.

The business will be rebranded as "British Steel" once the deal is completed in eight weeks, it said.

Britain’s largest union, Unite warned government ministers that a failure to allow UK steelworkers to compete on an even playing field would leave Scunthorpe steel workers who were making huge sacrifices to secure the industry ‘high and dry’.

The warning follows today’s announcement of the sale and purchasing agreement.

As part of the deal to secure 4,400 jobs, workers are being asked to accept a one year pay cut of 3 per cent and changes to their pension scheme.

Unite is recommending members vote to accept the changes in a ballot due to close on 19 April ahead of the formal sale of the Scunthorpe steelworks.

Commenting Unite convenor for Tata Steel Scunthorpe Martin Foster said: “This announcement is good news and brings us within touching distance of securing a future for steelmaking in Scunthorpe.

“It should not be forgotten though that many workers have already lost their jobs at Scunthorpe and those that remain are making huge sacrifices with their pay and pensions to secure their jobs.

“Unite is asking our members to back the deal, but government ministers must now play their part too. The government cannot now leave Scunthorpe’s steelworkers high and dry and must take decisive action to allow them to compete on an even playing field with their global competitors.

“This means supporting steelworkers by ensuring infrastructure such as HS2 and defence projects are built with British steel, as well as tackling the dumping of cheap imports and high energy costs, which is leaving steelworkers fighting with one hand tied behind their backs.”