Hartlepool MP hopes to avoid steel workers’ strike

Tata Steel's plant in Brenda Road, Hartlepool.
Tata Steel's plant in Brenda Road, Hartlepool.

Unions representing Tata Steel workers will meet next week to co-ordinate industrial action.

But Hartlepool MP Iain Wright hopes a resolution can be found to the dispute affecting the steel company, which has a plant in Brenda Road, Hartlepool.


Chris Cordner

Members of Community, the GMB and Ucatt voted for strikes which are proposed in protest at the closure of the final salary pension scheme.

Community general secretary Roy Rickhuss said his union would be consulting “on the full range of industrial action plans and the timing of our action”.

“We have heard nothing new from Tata since our ballot result was announced.”

MPs on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Steel walked out of a meeting with Tata Steel executives, saying company representatives were unable to answer their questions or address concerns.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright was not at the meeting, but said he was “fully supportive” of the trade unions, adding: “We have not seen a steel strike for the best part of 30 years and it really needs resolving.”

Group chairman Tom Blenkinsop said only the chief executive of Tata Steel could provide the answers to the union’s questions, and had demanded Karl Koehler attends in person.

Roy Rickhuss, Community general secretary, said: “Our members will welcome the actions of the steel MPs.

“We have also been seeking answers from the company and looking for them to recognise the overwhelming strength of feeling among their workforce about their pensions.

“If the massive vote in favour of strike action was not enough, then the company should heed this message from MPs and return to meaningful discussions with the unions in line with Tata’s values of responsibility and integrity.”