On Saturday 13th June steelworkers in Gwent will be meeting in Newport to march against Tata Steel’s proposals to change their pensions. I will be there with other Gwent politicians to continue to throw our weight behind this important campaign and I know that many will want to come out to show support for our manufacturing workers.
Tata, who employ over 1000 workers at Llanwern and Orb, have announced they are looking to close the British Steel Pension defined benefit scheme to future accrual and require employees to work an extra five years to qualify for a full pension. The unions have made every effort to compromise, but have failed to reach an agreement with Tata and are therefore balloting their members on industrial action.
I am in no doubt of the strength of feeling locally after I attended a packed meeting at Orb steelworks last month organised by Community Union. I spoke to many steelworkers including a man last week who, after 37 years in Llanwern, sees the company move the goal post just as he is in sight of retirement. As an active member of the All Parliamentary Party Group for Steel in the House of Commons, I have spoken in many debates and meetings in support of local workers who have endured difficult times in recent years. They have adapted to the challenging environment, accepted changes and risen to the challenges the company has set them. After a lifetime of hard shift work in a heavy industry, our workers deserve better than this.
Please come and show your support for this campaign on Saturday 13th June. We will meet at 12pm at Newport Leisure centre.
Many constituents have been in touch to protest about the Tory manifesto pledge to repeal the fox hunting ban. Labour brought in the Hunting Act in 2004 and pledged to keep it at the General Election. If we have a vote I’ll be voting to keep the ban.
Last, but certainly not least, a big thank you to all those who took part in the General Election in Newport East. It’s a huge privilege to be re-elected and it’s an honour I do not take lightly. I’m back out and about meeting groups and organisations, so if you’d like me to come along please contact my office on 01633 841725. Surgeries are held weekly in my office in Clarence House and new dates of surgeries around the constituency are on my website www.jessicamorden.com/advice_surgeries