Ground-breaking deal secures 140 jobs on Tata steel plant in Scunthorpe
ONE hundred and forty contractors whose jobs on the Tata Steel works in Scunthorpe were under threat have been thrown a lifeline and given improved contracts.
In 2010, the 140 men were drafted in by the company to act as cover for Tata Steel employees.
But their future looked bleak in May 2011 when bosses in Mumbai in India announced 1,500 jobs in the town were to be axed.
Traditionally, the contractors would have been the first to be made redundant, but almost two years later they remain in work.
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Now the 140 men have been given hope of long-term employment after the town's main steel union, Community, negotiated a new contract with Tata Steel to improve their status.
Under the ground-breaking deal, the Scunthorpe-based labour recruitment agency List-Apollo will act as the third party payee for the contractors.
Sean Scorer, chairman of the Scunthorpe works multi-union committee, hailed the agreement as a first for the industry.
Mr Scorer said: "Traditionally, temporary contracts like this have a 12-month timeline, but today's economic circumstances are nothing like tradition.
"Due to an ongoing employment embargo, we have brought in List-Apollo as our partners. But we have an aspiration that the 140 contractors will receive full contracts with Tata Steel during the financial year 2013-14.
"If we stuck to tradition, the 140 would have been removed in May 2011.
"During the job-restructuring exercise in Scunthorpe, our union Community made a pledge to fight to ensure that nobody left the steelworks who did not volunteer. The fact we have reached conclusion with zero hard redundancies and the signing of this new contract agreement proved that to have been achieved.
"This deal has also led to a national recognition agreement between Community and the recruitment agency."
No-one from Tata was available for comment.