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Unions Call On Tata Steel Bosses To Give Back Bonuses

South Wales steelworkers are among those calling for Tata executives to pay back any  'loyalty bonuses' they have received.

It follows claims made by a Dutch whistleblower.

We've seen a letter sent to Tata employees by Andrew Robb, Chairman of the Board Tata Steel Europe Limited. 

He addresses company incentives saying in order 'to steer through these unprecedented challenges', the company has needed to 'retain focused and consistent leadership, as well as the dedication and support of all colleagues.'
 
He continues, 'Like many companies, we offer a range of short and longer-term incentives for employees at all levels so we can attract and retain the appropriate skills for the future.

'We recognise the contribution of all employees to the ongoing transformation programmes and our incentive programmes provide the opportunity for all employees to share in the success of the business as profitability improves.
 
'The owner of the European business, Tata Steel Limited, and its remuneration committee recognised in 2015 that long-term incentive plans designed to incentivise and retain senior management - essential in delivering the company's strategy - were not working well. 

Mr Robb also wrote that in particular, there has been great concern about the significant increase in the number of senior managers, particularly in the UK, leaving the business as the company faced unprecedented challenges.
 
The letter continues:

'A new plan was therefore adopted for a number of senior managers and critical specialists across Tata Steel Europe. 
'This is not unusual in companies facing these sort of challenges and resulted in payments this financial year which we paid as per our commitment. The payments will be disclosed through our normal reporting processes.'
 
The National Trade Union Steel Coordinating Committee has released a statement saying: "Our members have weathered the biggest steel crisis in a generation, and for many the future is still uncertain. 

"Everyone knows how tough the last couple of years have been, but management promised that we were "all in it together" - today's news makes a mockery of that promise. 
  
"Steelworkers have taken tough decisions to secure the future of our industry, yet it seems management don't want to share the burden. 

"That money would be better spent on new investment and to reward those workers who have already given up so much to help protect their industry. 
  
"Tata's excuse that they needed to offer incentives for managers to stay with the company is laughable. Tata Steel managers already enjoy very generous salaries and benefits, if that is not enough to keep them working in our proud industry then frankly it would be better if they left. 
  
"Steelworkers have always sought to work in partnership with their employer to build a successful steel industry for all. 

"We now call on managers to do the right thing; return the money and support us as we work to turn around the business and save the future of British steelmaking." 

AM Bethan Jenkins, who is also Plaid Cymru's spokesperson on steel, said that the pay-outs at a time the company was pleading poverty, was an insult to the thousands of workers at Tata Steel in Wales and across the UK.

Bethan said: "Over the last few years, loyal and dedicated Tata Steel workers at Port Talbot and across Wales and the UK have put up with the uncertainty and insecurity which has resulted from Tata's claims that it could not afford to continue with its current pension scheme. 

"The workforce accepted to severely cut their own pensions and the pensions of future workers, in order to save their industry which Tata made crystal clear was under threat of closure. 

"This news will rightly outrage the thousands of workers who took difficult decisions to save their jobs and give Tata the benefit of the doubt at the time.

"I believe Tata bosses should return this money, it's the right thing to do. There are thousands of workers across Tata Steel who have had to come to terms with losing money which was owed them and they agreed to it to save their jobs and future jobs. 

"This show of faith in the company and in the future of steel needs to be reciprocated now. 

"The workforce in Port Talbot is still waiting for investment from Tata which was promised to them as part of the changes, including pension losses, the workforce agreed to last year to save the industry. Where is that investment?

"The company has the money to give away 25 million in bonuses but promised investment has still not materialised. 

"I would also urge the Welsh Government to have discussions with Tata as soon as possible and make it clear on behalf of the thousands of workers, which they have also committed to support, that these pay-outs are unacceptable."

We are awaiting a response off Tata and the Welsh Government.
 

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