On 13 July 2016, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, travelled to the Netherlands to meet with senior representatives from the main Dutch steel union the FNV, and senior representatives from the German steel union IG Metall.
This was in response to Tata Steel’s recent announcement that they were engaged in discussions with Thyssenkrupp regarding a strategic partnership involving their mainland Europe and UK operations.
During this meeting all three unions expressed their disappointment at the complete lack of information and consultation to date. Concerns were raised around job security, pensions and future investment decisions.
The unions agreed that in response to the recent developments there was a need for close co-operation and that they would work together to formulate a strategy to safeguard the interests of steelworkers across Europe.
Whilst we understand that talks between Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel are at an early stage the companies should be aware the unions will be working closely together and will need to be convinced that any strategic partnership is in the best interests of our members.
This first meeting was welcomed by all three unions, and it was agreed there would be further meetings to discuss the guarantees and assurances the trade unions will require should the discussions between Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp progress.