Community, the steelworkers’ union, has spoken out about the further delays and uncertainty surrounding the sale of Tata’s Speciality Steels business in South Yorkshire.
The business, which employs over 2,000 people in Rotherham and Stocksbridge produces some of the most specialist steel products in the world. Tata have previously announced that the Speciality business would be sold separately from their Strip business, but after months of rumour and speculation, workers are no closer to knowing if their jobs will be safe.
Senior officials from Community have spent the past week meeting with members at the steelworks and have now called on Tata to come clean on the state of their sales process and let their loyal workforce know what their future will hold.
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said:
“While so much focus is on the sale of Tata’s Strip business and the uncertainty surrounding the pension scheme, Community will not allow Speciality Steels to become the forgotten part of the steel crisis. With over 2,000 direct employees and many thousands more in the local supply chain, this business is of huge importance to the South Yorkshire region.
“When Tata announced that they wanted to sell the business, we called on them to act as a responsible seller. The continued lack of information about that process and the worry this has caused amongst their loyal workforce is highly irresponsible.
“Community has always said that we will play our part as a responsible stakeholder in helping safeguard the future of the business, but having committed to involve the trade unions in the sales process, Tata have yet to share details of potential buyers. Speciality Steels has every chance of a bright, profitable future, but this will only be possible if Tata ensure a new owner is able to invest in the business and build a positive relationship with the workforce.
“The months of uncertainty and delays must end today. Tata must come clean about the state of the sales process and fully involve the trade unions in helping to build a new future for this vital industry and its highly skilled workers.”