July 4, 2018 / 4:22 PM / in 4 months

Tata Steel workers endorse merger with Thyssenkrupp

LONDON (Reuters) - The union representing workers at Tata Steel’s (TISC.NS) European operations on Wednesday endorsed the company’s joint venture with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE) following agreements on jobs, investment and production.

Germany's ThyssenKrupp CEO Heinrich Hiesinger and Chairman of Tata Steel Natarajan Chandrasekaran pose at a joint news conference after signing a final agreement on Saturday to establish a long-expected steel joint venture, in Brussels, Belgium July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The two steel firms signed a landmark joint venture deal on Saturday to create Europe’s No.2 steelmaker with 17 billion euros (14.98 billion pounds) in sales, marking the sector’s biggest tie-up in more than a decade.

“With a jobs guarantee until 2026 and commitments to invest across the business, including a repair of blast furnace five at Port Talbot, this agreement means workers can look to the future with confidence,” said Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union.

“Tata must now fulfil their commitments ... (to) secure the future of all sites.”

Tata Steel Europe has been a strain on its parent for about a decade, burning through approximately $1 billion of cash a year. Like Thyssenkrupp, it plans to slash up to 2,000 jobs as part of the joint venture deal.

Reporting by Maytaal Angel; editing by David Evans

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