Trade unions oppose Tata Steel’s layoff announcement in Europe

A strike may not be far away.


Trade unions have been up in arms ever since they heard of Tata Steel’s intention to lay off 3000 employees in Europe. The unions even plan to request the European Parliament to intervene.

About 50 per cent of the employees whose jobs are under threat, belong to the Netherlands unit.

While the Company claims the layoff plan is a step in the direction of improving cash inflow despite market-related challenges, the workers in Netherlands and Britain are not taking it lying down. They fear that more than 3000 may be rendered jobless, and that the Company is not revealing the final and actual number of jobs it has planned to cut.

The unions will ask the workers to vote to see how many are in favour of industrial action or strike. If there are enough votes in favour, the strike will take place.

The workers are unhappy because it seems the Company is going back on its word of job guarantee till 2021. This guarantee was given to them following the dropping of the planned joint venture with German steel manufacturer and multinational group, Thyssenkrupp, due to a block imposed by the European Commission.

This is not the first time that a strike is being considered by unions. About four years back, four unions had decided to take industrial action to protest against the management’s decision to stop the British Steel Pension Scheme. The strike had later been called off after mutually agreed changes were made to the scheme.

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