Paul Flynn MP and I have written to Mr Mistry, Chair of TATA to express our concerns about the changes to steel workers pensions. I have copied the letter below.
Dear Mr Mistry,
As the local Members of Parliament for the two Newport constituencies which include Llanwern and Orb steelworks, we feel compelled to write to you about the future of the British Steel Pension scheme (BSPS). Newport has a long and proud tradition of steelmaking -; a tradition both of us would like to see protected and developed. We acknowledge that the steel industry has faced tough times in recent years and continues to operate in a highly competitive global market. Nonetheless, we are both extremely concerned with Tata’s intention to close the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) to future accrual which will cause hardship for many steelworkers who have worked for decades in a heavy industry doing shift work. Having talked to many constituents affected by these changes over recent weeks we are in no doubt about the strength of local feeling.
The steelworkers in our constituencies have endured difficult times in recent years and have adapted to this tough environment through accepting changes to working patterns and rising to the challenges the company has set them. However, closing the BSPS is a step too far and is grossly unfair given the workers’ sacrifices to date. We know there has been a long and proud history of constructive industrial relations for the steel industry, but feel it is very disappointing on this occasion that an agreement has not been reached with the unions.
We wish to urge you that Tata negotiates meaningfully with the trade unions over the future of the BSPS and ensure an agreement is attained which both protects the pensions of our hardworking steel workers and the future viability of the scheme.
We look forward to your reply.
Jessica Morden MP Paul Flynn MP