Steel unions say they have a commitment from Tata to secure the future of jobs and production at Port Talbot and other steelworks across the UK – but the deal does not cover South Yorkshire.
A number of ‘significant’ measures include keeping two blast furnaces at the South Wales plant for five years, a commitment to seek to avoid compulsory redundancies for a similar period, a 10-year investment plan of £1 billion and consultation on replacing the pension with a defined benefit scheme.
But Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union, said Speciality Steels in Stocksbridge and Rotherham were not covered by the announcement.
He said:“We recognise that today’s announcement does not cover the Speciality Steels business in South Yorkshire or the SAW mills in Hartlepool. We will continue to work hard with the companies involved to secure the investment necessary to ensure those businesses grow and that our members are protected.”
It was reported last month Tata had signed a ‘letter of intent’ on the sale of its speciality steels business for £100m, meaning it had entered exclusive talks with Liberty House.
Unions said after a meeting in Port Talbot that the commitments on jobs, production and investment were welcome, although the pension proposal was ‘worrying’.