Friday, September 18, 2009

Steel workers to vote on action

Thousands of workers at Corus are to be balloted on industrial action over the steel group's plans to close its final salary pension scheme to new entrants.

Leaders of the Community, Unite and GMB unions decided at a meeting in London to oppose the proposed changes.

They said in a statement: "Corus should be fully aware that the unions are saying enough is enough.

"Representatives have called for ballots for industrial action right across the company."

The summit in London was called after union representatives walked out of talks with Corus bosses on 3 September.

Corus has said it would be inappropriate to comment while pay and conditions talks were continuing.

The GMB, Community and Unite unions are also discussing a threatened Corus factory on Teesside.

Source and full article BBC News

I am amazed that the unions would consider Industrial action at this time when production plants, particularly in Teeside are under threat of closure. Corus have said they wish to remove the final salary pension scheme from new employees, not existing ones. Whilst very desirable, these schemes are expensive and in a private company impose a considerable financial burden on the employer and eventually on the customer.

When the very existence of the steel industry within the UK is under threat from overseas competition and low demand, the timing on this action is beyond belief. I am very sympathetic with the situation of steelworkers in Teeside and hope that the plant finds a way through, but I fear that threats of industrial action on the pensions issue can only damage their prospects

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