Wales

Tata Steel workers in Wales set for a strike ballot

Tata owned steel works in Port Talbot Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Possible changes to pension schemes have angered unions

Unions representing Tata Steel workers in Wales are set to ballot members over industrial action after a plan to close their pension scheme was announced.

Tata Steel, which employs more than 7,500 people in Wales, revealed plans to close the final salary pension scheme on Friday.

Trade unions accuse Tata Steel of being "hell bent" on closing the pension scheme and refusing to compromise.

Tata said it will consult employees on the closure of the pension scheme.

The firm has sites in Port Talbot, Llanwern in Newport, Shotton in Flintshire and Trostre, Carmarthenshire.

A company spokesman said: "We have been unable come to an agreement that would have enabled defined benefit provision to continue.

"We remain committed to providing employees with competitive future pension provision,"

It proposes to replace the current pension scheme with a defined contribution one.

'Lost all faith'

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community trade union, said Tata's decision to close the current scheme is "unnecessary and profoundly disappointing".

He said: "We have made every effort to compromise with the company, even discussing the possibility of meeting the deficit through changes to member benefits. Sadly, the company rejected this offer.

"We have lost all faith in the company and its leadership, which has brought us to the brink of a major national industrial dispute for the first time in over 30 years."

Tata Steel insists that it is cooperating with the unions.

"Those discussions have been held in a constructive and transparent atmosphere," said its spokesman.

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