The date for the first strike in the steel industry for 35 years has been announced

Tata Steel, Brenda Road, Hartlepool. Picture By FRANK REID
Tata Steel, Brenda Road, Hartlepool. Picture By FRANK REID

Thousands of steel workers at sites across the country 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 June 22. 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.

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community, said: “Tata have given us no option but take industrial action.”

Paul Reuter, national officer at Unite, said: “We are still open to talks if Tata are prepared for meaningful discussions.”

Dave Hulse, the 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 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.

At a time when the UK business as a whole continues to lose money and when key investments are needed to create a sustainable future for our business, we urge the unions and individual employees to think very carefully about the consequences of industrial action.”