Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/883/21951

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 January 2016

Steel: public ownership needed as private buyers threaten pay and pensions

Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland

According to press reports, the SNP Scottish government will provide a 195,000 short term subsidy package in early 2016, to threatened Lanarkshire Tata steel plants in Motherwell and Clydebridge.

This will pay short time working (65% pay) to those who remain employed at the two plants, but only a minority of jobs will be saved - around 75 staff in Lanarkshire already lost their jobs before Christmas.

The SNP government continues to orientate its taskforce towards finding a private buyer rather than using the option of nationalisation.

This is despite not being able to find a buyer during the period of consultation since Tata Steel announced the closure of the plants in October.

Taskforce

Head of the taskforce, SNP minister Fergus Ewing, has stated: "It is critical for any new commercial operator intending on restarting production at Motherwell and Clydebridge to be able to get the mothballed plants quickly up and running again after a period of inactivity."

While the immediate threat of redundancy has been removed for some Tata staff, it will not be lost on the workforce and wider community that the SNP government is presiding over job losses and a significant pay cut for the remaining workforce.

All this in the hope a private buyer will be found - instead of securing all the jobs and maintaining terms and conditions of the workforce and the plants as an industrial asset, through taking the plants under public ownership.

It appears Tata may have found a buyer, US firm Greybull Capital, for the long product division at Scunthorpe.

However, this will mean the majority of the threatened 1,200 redundancies will still take place even if the sale is completed. Also it seems Greybull is not willing to buy the Lanarkshire plants despite the efforts of Fergus Ewing.

Socialist Party Scotland has consistently warned from the beginning of the steel crisis that there was a risk of private buyers immediately threatening the hard won terms and conditions of the workforce.

This has happened already with the unions accepting short time working and news that Greybull wants immediate "reform" - the scrapping of the final-salary pension scheme and to introduce changes to overtime pay and bonuses at Scunthorpe - as a condition of buying the plant.

In May 2015, Tata were forced to back down from these very measures by an overwhelming vote for industrial action by the workforce.

The steel trade unions must fight every attempt to undermine these terms and conditions, but Paul McBean, the chairman of the works multi-union committe on 5 January said: "By law Greybull will have to offer us a new pension scheme. But we cannot expect thm to contribute to the British Steel Pension Scheme as Tata Steel have done." This resignation to losing the pension scheme is unacceptable.

They would be in a lot stronger position to avoid these attacks if they had taken a fighting approach from the start, mobilising the workforce and the wider community for a mass campaign for nationalisation.

Meeting

Trade unions at all Tata plants, and in the steel industry beyond, should convene an emergency meeting of shop stewards to organise a mass campaign drawing in support from communities for nationalisation.

The trade unions cannot rely on taskforces involving the bosses who have mismanaged the industry, to protect their interests.

A discussion needs to take place among shop stewards and steel workers about tactics, including occupations and industrial action to force the issue of nationalisation and a fightback to protect terms and conditions.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 6 January 2016:


What we think

2016: Crisis-ridden capitalism will meet with bitter mood of resistance

No retreat on resisting council cuts!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight the flood of cuts

Support junior doctors' and student nurses' action

Another black man shot dead by the police

UK's private rail fares six times public rates

Birmingham Labour to axe at least 1,200 jobs in 165m cuts onslaught

UK wage growth will be lowest since 1920s

NHS England chiefs block hospitals from publicising emergencies

What we saw: Sadiq Khan's promises on London transport

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Floods, climate change and capitalism

Carlisle Socialist Party's action plan on floods

Profit system exacerbates flooding

Tories' hypocritical green policies pledge

Renationalise the water industry


International socialist news and analysis

No government majority as Podemos partially recovers


Workplace news and analysis

Union action needed to defeat attack on student nurses

Nationalise rail now! Rail workers strike around the country

Steel: public ownership needed as private buyers threaten pay and pensions

Condescending Tories savage Yorkshire fire service

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Dark comic book fantasy throws light on abusive relationships

"I chose to be involved in politics, Michael Crick"

Letters


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A 'People's Budget' to defeat cruel cuts

Stop the closure of Calderstones hospital!

2015 marks best fighting fund total this century!

Eleanor Marx: celebrate a life of struggle for socialism


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 January 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Steel:

triangleTata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

triangleSteely opposition growing to Tata pension offer

Public ownership:

triangleScotland 'indyref2' for socialist independence not the capitalist EU

triangleBuild a movement to save our NHS

triangleResponse to Derek Hatton's criticism of Corbyn over Brexit vote

Pensions:

triangleLeaked document threatens jobs and conditions at Ford Bridgend

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleWarehouse workers walk out over pay and pensions

Nationalisation:

triangleEstablishment papers over Brexit chasms

SNP:

triangleIndyref 2: SNP fire the starting gun

Lanarkshire:

triangleTrade unions must join fight for steel nationalisation

Socialist Party Scotland:

triangleNorth Ayrshire Labour council: No-cuts budget?

Scunthorpe:

triangleSanctioned - a victim of government callousness

Socialist Party:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: The history of the CWI

Scotland:

triangleFight the cuts: Demand no-cuts council budgets

Redundancies:

triangleGovernment attack on DWP job centres and offices

Redundancy:

triangleEHRC workers walk out

Occupations:

triangle'Nurses are angry and we are ready for action'

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

24/3/17

Doncaster

Doncaster postal workers walk out

24/3/17

Fujitsu

Fujitsu strikes: Manchester and Warrington

23/3/17

London

Jobstown Not Guilty: pics of London protest

22/3/17

Salford

Salford: International Women's Day meeting

22/3/17

Orgreave

Biggest ever protest by Orgreave campaigners

22/3/17

Unite

Battle steps up in Unite general secretary election

22/3/17

Aslef

Aslef offer: unity needed with the RMT

22/3/17

East London

East London demonstration against A&E closure

22/3/17

Tyneside

Battle for Wallsend walk-in NHS service

22/3/17

Cumbria

Join the march against NHS cuts and privatisation in Cumbria

22/3/17

NHS

We'll fight to save our NHS!

22/3/17

Workers

Workplace news in brief

22/3/17

Derby

Derby TAs' strike suspended after new offer

22/3/17

Public sector

End the seven-year public sector pay cap!

22/3/17

RMT

Merseyrail guard found not guilty of "endangering safety"

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle23 Mar Jobstown Not Guilty: pics of London protest

triangle23 Mar Unite against terror, racism and war

triangle22 Mar Northern Ireland: divisive election a warning to the workers' movement

triangle22 Mar Battle steps up in general secretary election before start of voting

triangle22 Mar Tory splits brought to the surface - Corbyn must go on the attack

triangle21 Mar CPSA to PCS: Fighting the 'Moderates' and building a fighting union

triangle20 Mar March against racism: Refugee Rights has lively bloc

More ...

triangle28 Mar Bristol North Socialist Party: The French elections

triangle28 Mar Manchester Socialist Party: The history of the CWI

triangle30 Mar North London Socialist Party: Stop the education cuts

triangle30 Mar Bradford Socialist Party: The French election campaign

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice