Workers have voted to accept a temporary 3% pay cut and changes to terms and conditions as part of the deal to sell Tata Steel’s long products business to Greybull Capital.
Members of the Community, GMB and Unite unions backed the changes, aimed at paving the way for the deal, which includes the huge steel plant at Scunthorpe. Community officer Steve McCool said it was an extremely difficult decision, but the vote was a “major step forward” towards securing the future of the business.
The sale to Greybull is a rare piece of positive news for the industry, which is in crisis because of cheap Chinese imports and other problems such as energy costs.
Greybull and Tata agreed the deal to sell the long products division last week, for a nominal sum of £1.
The deal will safeguard up to 4,400 jobs and keep open a steelworks in Scunthorpe, two mills in Teesside, an engineering workshop in Workington, a design consultancy in York, and associated distribution facilities, as well as a mill in northern France.
The firm will be renamed British Steel, a brand that disappeared in 1999 with the creation of Corus, which was later bought by Tata.
Greybull will only pay the nominal fee for Tata’s long products Europe (LPE) division because it has agreed to take on the firm’s liabilities and put together a £400m funding package to keep the business going. A loan from the government on commercial terms could form part of this funding package.
Tata is looking for buyers for the rest of its UK business, including the Port Talbot works in south Wales, with thousands of jobs hanging in the balance.
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