Tata deal secures UK steelworks

Article by Staff Writer

TATA has agreed a deal with unions to secure production at Port Talbot and other steelworks across the UK.

The agreement comes eight months after the Indian conglomerate announced it would sell its unprofitable UK operations, casting doubt on the future of 10,000 jobs – including 4,000 at Port Talbot.

Today, union representatives met with Tata at Port Talbot and negotiated a package of measures to secure operations. This includes a minimum five-year commitment to keep producing steel at two blast furnaces at Port Talbot, and to reinvest in blast furnace number five at the site. There is also a comprehensive 10-year £1bn (US$1.26bn) investment plan to support steelmaking at the site and downstream.

A jobs pact has been agreed – equivalent to the deal Tata has with workers at its Ijmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands – not to seek any compulsory redundancies for five years. The cost of the deal for workers appears to be the closure of the existing pension, which will be replaced by a less generous defined contribution scheme.

Union Community said that the full terms of the deal are set to be communicated to members.

“This proposal would secure jobs for years to come and bring serious investment not just to Port Talbot but to steelworks across the UK,” said Roy Rickhuss, Community general secretary. “This is not the end of the process and it will be for all our members to now vote on this proposal.”

Unite’s national officer, Tony Brady, added: “Today’s news it a step in the right direction for our industry but there is still a lot more that government can and must do. The Tories [Conservative government] say they are committed to an industrial strategy, but steelworkers need more than warm words.”

“The UK steel industry supports our whole manufacturing sector and it is vitally important that the future of that industry is secured for generations to come.”

Article by Staff Writer

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