South Yorkshire: Rotherham MP Sarah Champion lends support to workers in first steel strike in 30 years

MP Sarah Champion
MP Sarah Champion

MP for Rotherham Sarah Champion will be backing the forthcoming strike voted on by workers at Tata Steel if their current dispute cannot be resolved.

Moves to strike have occurred amidst a dispute around employee pensions which would see the age they retired move from 60 to 65.

The planned strike, which would happen nationally, was voted on by members of Community Union, who voted by almost 9-1 in favour of going on strike. The strike would be the first steel strike in 30 years.

Commenting on her support for the steel workers, Sarah Champion said:“Strike action should always be a last resort, but in this instance, I believe it is.”

“Our local steel workers have tried everything to negotiate with Tata’s bosses over changes to their pension scheme, but nothing constructive has happened.”

“For me, this is about treating your workers with fairness. It’s not fair to expect them to work all their lives, pay into a pension scheme on the basis of retiring at 60, and then suddenly be told that they can’t do that now and they have to work another five years. Working in the steel industry is hard physical work and we should be mindful of the toll it takes.”

“I am hopeful that a deal can be reached before the planned strike, but if not, my support will lie firmly with the workers.”