Hartlepool steel workers to strike in pensions row with Tata

Tata Steel, Brenda Road, Hartlepool. Picture By FRANK REID
Tata Steel, Brenda Road, Hartlepool. Picture By FRANK REID
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Thousands of steel workers at sites across the country - including Hartlepool - are to go on strike in a long-running row over pensions.

Members of four trade unions working at Tata Steel will walk out for a day on Monday, June 22.

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

They will also ban overtime and work to rule from the middle of next week.

The move follows votes in favour of strikes in protest at the closure of their final salary pension scheme.

Around 13,000 workers are involved in the dispute, and the strike will be the first in the steel industry for 35 years.

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community, said: “Tata have given us no option but take industrial action” while Paul Reuter, national officer at Unite, said: “We are still open to talks if Tata are prepared for meaningful discussions.”

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 Blundel, of 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.

A spokesman for Tata Steel, which has a plant in Brenda Road in Hartlepool, said: “We have over the last few months listened carefully to our employees during an extensive consultation process involving thousands of employees.

“In response to this feedback, we will soon be announcing new measures which will lessen the impact of the proposed pension changes, particularly on our longest-serving employees nearing retirement age.

“We hope that these important changes to our proposals will be welcomed by employees and that the trade unions reconsider industrial action.”