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UCATT union: 'Members won't stand idly by'

UCATT members employed by Tata Steel have voted overwhelmingly for strike action.

It's due to a running dispute over the company’s plans to close the British Steel Pension Scheme.

UCATT members voted 95.1% for strike action and by 94.9% for action short of strike action on an 80% turnout.

This result shows that members are not going to stand idly by and allow Tata to close their pension scheme.

It is now imperative for Tata to swiftly return to the negotiating table to resolve this dispute.

– Nick Blundell, Regional Secretary for UCATT Wales and South West Region

Tata steel workers vote for strike action

The Port Talbot plant employs almost 4,000 Credit: PA

Union workers at Tata steel have voted to take strike action over their pensions.

The company says it is 'disappointed' saying it is "proposing to continue providing employees with highly attractive and competitive pensions".

Tata steel says it remains hopeful that employees will avoid taking any action that damages its objective of building a successful and sustainable UK business capable of supporting a secure pension scheme.

Retirement age would change.

Tata awaits result of strike ballot

The Port Talbot plant employs almost 4,000. Credit: Anthony Devlin / PA

Steel giant Tata which employs thousands in Wales will hear today if it faces the threat of strikes by workers in a dispute over pensions.

Members of the Community, Ucatt and GMB unions have been voting on whether to launch a campaign of action in protest at plans to close the British Steel Pension Scheme to future accrual.

The proposed changes to the scheme could see workers retiring at 65 instead of 60.

The unions urged their members to vote in favour of strike action and for other forms of industrial action.

Ballot results are due today, while Unite members are still voting until next week.

Talks were held last week but failed to break the deadlocked row, with unions describing consultations as a "sham".

Credit: Roland Weihrauch/DPA/PA Images

Officials accused Tata of a "flagrant disregard" for the views of employees.

The company said almost 5,000 workers had attended more than 100 pension roadshows in 20 locations across the UK in recent weeks, while 2,000 letters and emails had been sent.

Employees had expressed a "clear understanding" of the challenges facing the pension scheme.

Tata said it would consider the feedback, but continued to believe that any pension options must address the scheme's deficit


Tata fined £200,000 after three staff suffer burns

Tata has been ordered to pay costs of £11,190 Credit: ITV Wales

Steel company Tata has been fined £200,000 after three employees suffered serious burns at the Port Talbot site.

Trainee crane driver, Kelvin Watts, had been moving a container carrying tonnes of molten metal when the metal spilled onto the floor and ignited in April 2013.

Mr Watts and his two colleagues, who had been supervising him at the time, managed to escape the plant but suffered serious burns.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the company for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the workforce.

Tata has been ordered to pay costs of £11,190.

Given the potential consequences of a ladle holding 300 tonnes of molten metal spilling its load onto the floor, control measures should be watertight.

The incident could have been avoided had the safety measures introduced afterwards been in place at the time. Companies must maintain plant and machinery properly and instruct, train, inform and supervise staff consistently if they are going to prevent injury.

Reacting after the event is not acceptable and can be too late for some workers.

– Joanne Carter, HSE Inspector

Community Union: Job losses are 'not a surprise'

400 jobs are to go at the steel site in Port Talbot

Alan Coombs, Chair of the Multi Unions committee at Tata Steel Port Talbot says it's clear the steel industry is suffering following the announcement that 400 jobs will be lost at the site.

He said:

"We need the help and we need the support now. The steel industry is suffering particularly bad and we do need the help now not in two or three years time."

Mr Coombs added:

"We understand the business has got to move forward but we've got to be in a place where we can compete and we can do it safely."

"There's going to be a strain on the workforce left behind and that's also a concern."

He said the Unions will be challenging the number of job losses.

Assurances on Tata future despite redundancies says Welsh Secretary

Welsh Secretary David Jones says he too has been in contact with Tata about the job losses. He says the company remains committed to the future of the Welsh steel industry.

It is very disappointing to hear that Tata Steel has had to make the decision to reduce its operational workforce at its Port Talbot site and my immediate concerns are with those employees and their families who may be potentially affected by redundancies.

Tata Steel has assured me that it is undertaking a robust consultation process with its staff and will continue to work very closely with the unions. It has also offered assurance that it is committed to sustaining the long-term future of its Port Talbot site in Wales against a global backdrop in recent years of shrinkage in the steel industry and intense global competition. Jobcentre Plus stands ready to support any employees potentially affected by today's announcement.

– Welsh Secretary David Jones MP

Welsh Govt: Newport steel job losses 'disappointing'

Welsh Government says it's in discussions with the Newport steelworks' management on how it can assist.

This is disappointing news, especially as the Cogent operation at Newport has made considerable efforts to drive down costs and increase market share as the steel industry in Europe continues to operate in extremely difficult market conditions.

We are currently in discussion with senior management at the plant to determine how we may be able to assist with future investment in potential projects that could further help increase the efficiency and innovation of the plant.

Welsh Government officials will also liaise with the various agencies and organisations which will be able to work with affected employees to provide advice and guidance and identify alternative sources of employment

– Welsh Government Spokesperson
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