Responding to the news that Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp have taken the first step towards a merger deal by signing a memorandum of understanding, steel unions Unite, GMB and Community said: "The steel trade unions cautiously welcome this news and recognise the industrial logic of such a partnership. This would create the second biggest steel business in Europe which could deliver significant benefits for the UK.
"As always, the devil will be in the detail and we are seeking further assurances on jobs, investment and future production across the UK operations. As a priority, we will be pressing Tata to demonstrate their long term commitment to steelmaking in the UK by confirming they will invest in the reline of Port Talbot’s Blast Furnace No.5.
"We must also be assured that ThyssenKrupp’s pension liabilities will be ring-fenced with a cast-iron guarantee that UK steelworkers will never fund German pensions.
"We are now seeking an urgent meeting with Tata to fully understand their intentions for the UK in the context of the joint venture. We are also making arrangements to bring together senior representatives from across the UK to determine our approach to this significant new development."
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.