Steel plant workers vote for industrial action in row over bonus package

File photo dated 10/05/09 of red hot metal being moved across the heavy forge at the Forgemasters Works in Sheffield as the Government should adopt an industrial strategy which supports British manufacturers rather than simply awarding major contracts to the lowest bidder, a think tank has recommended. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday April 19, 2013. The Civitas report warns that large parts of British industry have been caught in a "catch-22" situation where they lack the ability to compete for Government contracts because they do not have the capacity those orders would provide. The report urges ministers to take into account the costs of unemployment and damage to supply chains if contracts are awarded to overseas firms. The think tank highlighted the award of the �6 billion Thameslink train contract to German-based Siemens rather than Derby's Bombardier as an example of the failure to consider the wider impact of procurement decisions. The report also claimed the cancellation of an �80 million
File photo dated 10/05/09 of red hot metal being moved across the heavy forge at the Forgemasters Works in Sheffield as the Government should adopt an industrial strategy which supports British manufacturers rather than simply awarding major contracts to the lowest bidder, a think tank has recommended. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday April 19, 2013. The Civitas report warns that large parts of British industry have been caught in a "catch-22" situation where they lack the ability to compete for Government contracts because they do not have the capacity those orders would provide. The report urges ministers to take into account the costs of unemployment and damage to supply chains if contracts are awarded to overseas firms. The think tank highlighted the award of the �6 billion Thameslink train contract to German-based Siemens rather than Derby's Bombardier as an example of the failure to consider the wider impact of procurement decisions. The report also claimed the cancellation of an �80 million
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STAFF AT one of Sheffield’s last remaining steelworks are set to strike in a row over pay.

Machine shop workers at Forgemasters will stage an overtime ban and 24-hour stoppage on Monday and Wednesday after members of union Unite voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

The union says it has been forced to act after the company failed to meet demands for bonus packages for 61 employees to be merged into basic pay.

Union leaders argue that the basic hourly rate for young workers barely exceeds minimum wage but bonuses make up 37 per cent of their total pay, leaving them in a ‘financially precarious’ position.

Unite regional officer Doug Patterson said: “Sheffield Forgemasters has repeatedly failed to address’ reasonable demands for bonuses to be consolidated into pay. The unwillingness of the company leaves some of our members on an hourly rate just over £7 when being assessed for credit and mortgages.

“Many of our highly skilled members are in a financially precarious position because of this arrangement. They are taking action to demand financial security.”

The firm, in Brightside Lane, Attercliffe, has a workforce of 800.

Chief executive Graham Honeyman said: “The counter bid offer put back by the machine shop group would cost the company three quarters of a million pounds each year to implement across all employees.

“We are working hard to even out the complex nature of our payment terms, borne from the fact that this company is a historical conglomeration of several different companies.”