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Tata steelworkers vote to accept reforms to their pensions

Credit: Ben Wright/PA Wire

Tata steelworkers have voted to accept reforms to their pensions, unions announced.

The consultative ballots on Tata Steel's proposal on pensions, jobs, investment and production closed at noon today.

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%

Leaders of the three unions recommended acceptance of the changes as the best that could be achieved through negotiation.

The changes include the introduction of a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme, with maximum employer contributions of 10%, following the closure of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) to future accrual.

Tata Steel workers to vote on new pension offer

Credit: PA

A ballot on a new pension offer will be put to Tata Steel workers from today.

All unions and officials have agreed to fully endorse the proposal which includes a £1bn investment over 10 years.

The deal includes a two-blast furnace operation at Port Talbot and plans for no compulsory redundancies for the next five years.

But the current pension scheme will be terminated as part of the deal in return.

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Theresa May 'not engaging' on steel claims Carwyn Jones

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

There has been no progress in tackling Tata Steel's pensions deficit since Theresa May became Prime Minister, the First Minister has told AMs. Answering questions in an Assembly scrutiny committee, Carwyn Jones also said that the position of Port Talbot steelworks was "better but not out of the woods".

The UK government is not engaging in the same way as it was when the pervious Prime Minister was there. David Cameron did take as personal interest. That's gone with this current government.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

Mr Jones said it was crucial the proposed merger between Tata and Thyssen-Krupp didn't lead to Port Talbot losing one of its two blast furnaces. He added that it would be an "immense disappointment" if there's no action to reduce energy costs in next week's autumn statement by the Chancellor. The fall in the value of the pound had helped but prices were still 37% lower in Spain.

Economy Committee to hear from steel bosses on future of Port Talbot

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Assembly Members will today hear from steel bosses on the progress of talks over the selling of Port Talbot's steelworks.

The National Assembly's Economy Committee is set to hear evidence from Tata Steel, Liberty Steel, unions and First Minister Carwyn Jones AM.

Since the election, there has been a marked drop in public discussion of the industry. As a committee we were keen to shine a light on what has happened since then, and whether the urgency and spirit of cooperation that characterised the initial reaction to job losses at Tata Steel in Port Talbot has continued.

Today’s meeting will hear from the employers, employees and First Minister Carwyn Jones. The committee has also written detailed questions to UK Government Minister Nick Hurd to hear how he is taking on the issues, since he became the Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry.

Steel remains a vital component of Wales’ economy, and following the appointment of a new Government in Cardiff Bay and new Ministers in Westminster over the summer, the committee wants to ensure that momentum has not been lost. Our predecessors on the Economy and Business Committee called for concerted action on energy costs, business rates, procurement, tariffs on foreign steel – I look forward to exploring whether action has been delivered, and whether it has been sufficient to provide some medium term certainty to the industry.

– Russell George AM, Chair of the Economy Committee
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