Nia Griffith, who has been secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Steel Group for the past five years, is urging Tata steel bosses to think again on their proposed changes to pensions which will see steel workers having to work an extra five years to qualify for full pension. She has written to Karl Kohler, CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel Europe to express her concerns.
Commenting on the situation, Nia Griffith said
“The company’s proposals, which penalise current workers, particularly those with long service, are daylight robbery. This is a case of the company moving the goal posts for workers with many years of loyal service, just when some of them are within sight of retirement. It is a real kick in the teeth. This is not the deal they signed up to. Many steel workers will have made the decision to stay with the steel company, working in heavy industry and putting up with the inconvenience of shift work precisely because of the terms and conditions they signed up to – including the chance to benefit from the early retirement provisions whereby they can retire at 60 with a full pension. Indeed some workers went through the upheaval of moving themselves and their families down here from Ebbw Vale when the steelworks there closed. Tata has been in talks with the Unions since last November, but the company seem determined to end the early retirement scheme rather than look at alternatives proposed by the trade unions. This is no way to treat loyal workers, and I am urging company bosses to think again.”