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Kallanish Kallanish

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June, 2nd 2020

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SEP 20
12:15

UK union/political sources respond to tk-Tata tie-up

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The long-awaited news of the thyssenkrupp-Tata Europe tie-up has invoked the expected reaction in the UK. Although the move has been generally welcomed, both political and trade union sources have listed the expected caveats surrounding job security, pensions provision and future investment.

"As always, the devil will be in the detail and we are seeking further assurances on jobs, investment and future production across the UK operations. As a priority, we will be pressing Tata to demonstrate their long term commitment to steelmaking in the UK by confirming they will invest in the reline of Port Talbot’s Blast Furnace No.5. We must also be assured that thyssenkrupp’s pension liabilities will be ring-fenced with a cast-iron guarantee that UK steelworkers will never fund German pensions,” say trade unions Unite, Community and GMB in a joint statement.

The UK member of parliament for the area in which the Port Talbot mill is located, Stephen Kinnock, voices similar concerns. “In February Tata Steel committed to investing £1 billion, to maintaining the blast furnaces, and to averting compulsory early redundancies. Those commitments must be honoured, and I will be seeking assurances from the company that they are in no way affected by today's news,” he says in a statement sent to Kallanish.

"The long-term future of the British steel industry depends on the blast furnaces in Port Talbot. It is therefore vital that the new joint venture leads to the investment that is required. This means that we need to see a rapid and clear commitment to the re-lining of Blast Furnace Number 5, the MP adds.