June 4, 2020 / 9:40 AM / a month ago

Tata Steel workers at Dutch plant vote to strike

FILE PHOTO: Smoke is seen coming out of a chimney at the Tata steel plant in Ijmuiden, Netherlands April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Employees at Tata Steel’s (TISC.NS) Dutch plant in IJmuiden on Thursday voted to go on strike over planned job cuts and the plant’s further integration with Tata’s British operations, labour union FNV said.

Workers at the Dutch subsidiary have been unhappy since the sudden departure last month of their CEO, Theo Henrar, who was viewed as an ally in their battle against Tata’s plans to cut about 1,000 jobs in the Netherlands.

Tata Europe has said it does not plan forced redundancies until at least October next year. But unions have demanded the company drops the plan to cut jobs in IJmuiden, along with plans to integrate the Dutch and British activities.

About 2,000 union members had gathered in the nearby town of Beverwijk on Thursday to discuss strike action, meeting at a parking lot large enough for them to comply with Dutch social distancing rules to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are done negotiating,” FNV spokesman Roel Berghuis told Reuters. “The gap between what we ask and what Tata offers is too big.”

Berghuis said that strikes could start as soon as June 10 unless Tata meets the demands of its workers.

Reporting by Bart Meijer and Toby Sterling; Editing by David Goodman

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