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Tata Steel : Ballot to open for thousands at Tata

05/22/2015 | 05:05pm US/Eastern

THOUSANDS of Tata workers are set to vote for strike action, when the country's largest union will open a ballot on Tuesday.

Unite will ballot its 6,000 members at Tata Steel UK -- which has plants in Port Talbot and Llanelli for industrial action over the multi-national's proposal to close the British Steel pension scheme (BSPS).

Unite's ballot for strike action and industrial action short of a strike will open on May 26 and close on Friday, June 5. Steel unions Community, GMB and Ucatt have already opened their Tata Steel ballots which will close on May 29.

At present, workers can retire at the age of 60 without an actuarial reduction.

The company's view is that they should now work until the age of 65 for a full pension.

If they were to retire at age 60 then, they would lose 5 per cent for each year of early retirement -- 25 per cent in total.

Unite national officer for steel Paul Reuter said: "Tata Steel UK is consulting our members on its proposal to close the pension scheme and to financially penalise workers and their families in retirement.

"Our members have made it clear that the proposed changes are totally unacceptable.

"Unless Tata Steel UK enters into further meaningful negotiations that would preserve the pension scheme, then the first national industrial action in the industry for 30 years would seem inevitable."

Unite's members include crane drivers, erectors, fitters, riggers, turners and welders.

Tata Steel has said it is open to unconditional talks.

(c) 2015 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved., source Newspapers

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