UK unions seek industrial vote in Tata Steel


London: British steel unions have given official legal notice to Tata Steel UK , as their intention to start balloting some 17,000 members for industrial action from May 6, one day before the country’s general election.
The unions are locked in a dispute with the company about its proposal to change their pension scheme. Should the ballot result in a vote to strike, it would be the biggest action in the UK steel sector in three decades.
Roy Rickhuss, Chair of the National Trade Union Steel Co-ordinating Committee and General Secretary of Community said, “We are urging our members to vote for strike action.” He added,”Unfortunately there is no sign of Tata showing any willingness to re-enter meaningful discussions with the trade unions about the future of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).”
Three unions — Community, GMB, UCATT — have given Tata Steel legal notice about the ballot, while a fourth — Unite — is expected to give notice in the next few days.
The unions accuse Tata Steel of not taking up their offer to re-enter discussions about the pension scheme. They are balloting their members to either vote in favour of a strike or to vote for industrial action short of a strike.
While a Tata Steel spokesman said: “We have made clear to the unions that our door remains open.”

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