Tata Steel Europe unions threaten strike over pension scheme closure

16 March 2015

Tata Steel Europe's unions are considering industrial action to protest against the steelmaker's decision to stop the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) to future accrual.

Industrial action can mean anything from a mass strike to a purposeful slowdown in work.

"We feel we have no option but to consult our members and prepare to ballot for industrial action to defend their hard won pension rights," said Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the Community trade union and Chairman of the National Trade Union Steel Coordinating Committee.

"It appears they are hellbent on closing the scheme and are not prepared to compromise. We have lost all faith in the company and its leadership, which has brought us to the brink of a major national industrial dispute for the first time in over 30 years," said Rickhuss. "The senior management of Tata Steel Europe should seriously consider their positions for bringing about this total breakdown in trust."

BSPS has 143,000 members, with 17,004 making up employee members and 91,264 making up pensioner members, as of December, 2014, the statement by unions said. Tata Steel will begin a statutory 60-day consultation about the changes on 23 March, and is proposing closure of the scheme on 1 April 2016.

Rickhuss said Tata Steel's decision to close the BSPS is unnecessary and profoundly disappointing. He added it is not a position the trade unions had expected to find themselves in given that they have been in discussions with the company since early November.


Source : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/