The first walkout in Tata Steel’s ongoing pensions dispute took place not in Port Talbot or Scunthorpe but Westminster.
MPs at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Steel walked out as one from a meeting with Tata Steel executives in protest at the company representatives’ inability to answer their questions or address their concerns over the ongoing pensions dispute with the company.
Tom Blenkinsop MP, Chair of the Steel APPG, who was at the meeting said:
“The pensions dispute is a matter of such serious concern to our constituents that we expected a full discussion about the issues and principles at stake. It was clear that only the CEO of Tata Steel could provide the answers to our questions but he only sent his spokespeople. We felt there was no point continuing the dialogue today and we’ve demanded that Karl Koehler attends in person, so that we can hear first-hand how the company has found itself on the brink of the first national steel dispute for 35 years and what he intends to do to find a resolution to this situation. At the least, Tata should be getting back round the table with the unions.”
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary, Community, said:
“Our members will welcome the actions of the steel MPs. We have also been seeking answers from the company and looking for them to recognise the overwhelming strength of feeling among their workforce about their pensions. If the massive vote in favour of strike action was not enough, then the company should heed this message from MPs and return to meaningful discussions with the unions in line with Tata’s values of responsibility and integrity.”