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Talks bid to AVERTTATA Steel strike.

TALKS are to be held today in a bid to avert a strike by thousands of workers at Tata Steel in a row over pensions.

Members of four unions are due to walk out for 24 hours a week today in protest at the closure of their final salary pension scheme. Tata says it has to make changes because the scheme faces a PS2 bn deficit.

Acas chief conciliator David Prince said: "We have been in contact with all the parties involved and they are attending Acas talks in London."

An overtime ban and work to rule is due to start tomorrow.

Tor Farquhar, executive director of human resources at Tata Steel's European operations, said: "We have contacted Acas to bring in independent expertise in mediating a resolution to the UK pension dispute. We have been talking to the trade unions since November to develop a fair and sustainable pension scheme for all UK employees. The company and unions agree that changes need to be made to tackle the scheme's projected shortfall.

"It remains the company's intention to provide a quality and competitive pension scheme for employees while continuing Tata Steel's significant record of investing in its UK assets so we can build a sustainable business."

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, said: "Community has indicated our willingness on a number of occasions to use the services of Acas, indeed it was an approach I'd suggested to the company months ago.

"I will meet anybody, anytime, anywhere for meaningful discussions to seek to find a resolution to this dispute. Consultation between the unions about how we respond is ongoing."

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 15, 2015
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