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Steel Update: Unions Accept Tata Deal

Tata steelworkers have voted to accept reforms to their pensions.

The consultative ballots on Tata Steel's proposal on pensions, jobs, investment and production closed at noon today (Wednesday 15th February). 

All union members were asked if they accepted the proposal, and the results for each union are as follows:

Community
Turnout: 70.5%
Yes: 72.1%
No: 27.9%

Unite
Turnout: 69.2%
Yes: 75.6%
No: 24.3%

GMB
Turnout: 51.5%
Yes: 74.0%
No: 26.0%

Responding to the results, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said, "This result provides a mandate from our members to move forward in our discussions with Tata and find a sustainable solution for the British Steel Pension Scheme.

"Steelworkers have taken a tough decision and have shown they are determined to safeguard jobs and secure the long-term future of steelmaking.

"Nobody wanted to be in this situation, but as we have always said, it is vital that we now work together to protect the benefits already accrued and prevent the BSPS from free-falling into the PPF.

"This ballot involved an extremely personal decision for everyone that voted. Whichever way our members cast their votes, we know they will not have taken that decision lightly and everyone’s opinions must be respected.

"We now expect Tata to make good on their promises and deliver the investment plan for the whole of their steel business.

"The UK Government still has an important role to play and we fully expect them to deliver tangible support for steelmaking in the UK."

Tony Brady, National Officer for Unite, said, "Steelworkers have made great sacrifices to ensure the UK’s world class steel industry has a future.

"Those sacrifices must be repaid by Tata Steel honouring its commitments on investment and job security.

"Nothing less would be a betrayal and add to the deep mistrust that steelworkers now have for the company.

"The UK government in Westminster must also repay the sacrifices and the commitment shown by steelworkers to their industry by stepping up to support steel and secure its future.

"The UK government must now work in lockstep with the Welsh Government and put steel at the heart of a manufacturing industrial strategy which ensures UK steel is used in all major infrastructure and defence projects."

Dave Hulse, National Officer for GMB, said, "Now that steelworkers have done their bit, it is time for the government step up and do theirs.

"Thousands of skilled jobs rely on steelmaking and the industry supports the whole UK manufacturing sector. Instead of insulting steelworkers by classing their industry as a 'low priority', the government set out as strategy for steel that recognises it as a high priority for investment and innovation."

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