Members of the three major steel trade unions have backed proposed changes to their pension scheme.
Members of Community, Unite and GMB trade unions have voted to reform the British Steel Pension scheme in a move designed to help secure the long term future of the industry in the UK.
Tom Blenkinsop, Chair of the All Party Group on Steel said:
Everyone knew neither option on the ballot paper was ideal. This decision has been difficult for steelworkers up and down the country but shows what they are willing to do to keep this vitally important industry in the UK.
Credit should go to these unions who sought the backing of their members and who have worked tirelessly to help current and retired British steelworkers in this time of crisis.
Both the Government and employers must now match the commitment to industry that workers have shown, resolve the difficulties with the pension scheme and build the successful future we all know the UK steel industry can have.
Responding to the results, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said:
This result provides a mandate from our members to move forward in our discussions with Tata and find a sustainable solution for the British Steel Pension Scheme.
Steelworkers have taken a tough decision and have shown they are determined to safeguard jobs and secure the long-term future of steelmaking. Nobody wanted to be in this situation, but as we have always said, it is vital that we now work together to protect the benefits already accrued and prevent the BSPS from free-falling into the PPF.
This ballot involved an extremely personal decision for everyone that voted. Whichever way our members cast their votes, we know they will not have taken that decision lightly and everyone’s opinions must be respected.
We now expect Tata to make good on their promises and deliver the investment plan for the whole of their steel business. The UK Government still has an important role to play and we fully expect them to deliver tangible support for steelmaking in the UK.