Steel unions have agreed Monday 22 June as the date for strike action at Tata Steel in their ongoing dispute over pensions. The strike action will be preceded by action short of strike action involving an overtime ban and a work to rule. The action short of strike action will begin as soon as legally practical around the middle of next week.
Unite national officer Paul Reuter said: “Strike action is the last resort for our members, but they’ve signalled very clearly that they are not prepared to stand by and see the retirement they have worked so hard for, in such a physically demanding environment, robbed from them.
“We have offered the savings the company says it needs. Instead Tata Steel UK wants to financially penalise its workforce and force it to work another five years to get their full pension.
“We would urge the company to do the right thing and enter into further meaningful talks to avoid the disruption of industrial action.
Roy Rickhuss, chair of the National Trade Union Steel Co-ordinating Committee, and general secretary of the Community trade union, said: “Tata have given us no option but take industrial action. The company has not shown any willingness to return to meaningful negotiations to find an end to this dispute. Our members are determined to stand up for their pensions. They delivered a massive vote in favour of industrial action, so that is what will happen. An overtime ban and work-to-rule will cause massive disruption to Tata’s operations and severely limit production. The company could avoid this by returning to the table. But in the meantime all the unions will also be making preparations for a national day of strike action on 22 June.”
Dave Hulse, GMB national officer, said: “It’s time Tata got back round the table and looked for a way to resolve this dispute. Our members are ready for industrial action and the company should heed the message that their workforce is delivering.”
Nick Blundell, regional secretary for Ucatt said: “Tata should listen to its workforce and recognise that to resolve this dispute it needs to get back round the table with the unions for meaningful discussions. Industrial action is a last resort for any union but Tata has given us no choice.”
Unions must give seven days’ notice of any industrial action.