A planned strike by workers at Tata Steel, including 6,000 from Unite, the country’s largest union, has been suspended after a new offer was made over pensions today (Friday 19 June).
Members of Unite, Community, the GMB and Ucatt were due to walk out for 24 hours on Monday (22 June) in protest at plans to close their final salary pension scheme.
They will now be balloted over a new offer, which unions said keeps the British Steel pension scheme open.
The unions are recommending that the deal is accepted.
Unite national officer, Harish Patel said: "Union action brought the company back to the table with an improved offer. The British Steel pension scheme (BSPS) is so important to Tata Steel employees and we have managed to keep the scheme open and secure a deal around early retirement.
“This is the best deal we could get and now our members get to decide. We will be urging them to vote for the offer on the table."
The decision to suspend the strike was taken at a meeting in London of 100 senior trade union delegates from across the company.
The new pension offer had been reached earlier this week following talks between Tata Steel and the unions facilitated by the conciliation service Acas. Officials from the British Steel pension scheme will be conducting road shows around Tata Steel sites next week to explain the new offer.
Unite’s members include crane drivers, erectors, fitters, riggers, turners and welders. The main sites are at Corby, Llanwern, Port Talbot, Scunthorpe, Shotton and Workington.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2061 or 07768 693940.
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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.