British Steel's fantastic birthday gift to Scunthorpe workers

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 1 Jun 2017

BACK-in-profit British Steel has delivered a first birthday present for its 3,000 employees in Scunthorpe by announcing they will share its first-year gains.

The owners at Greybull Capital have today (Thursday, June 1) revealed employees will be given a five per cent stake in the business – amounting to one million shares every year.

The announcement comes as British Steel is set to declare its first-year trading results in Scunthorpe at 10.15am today.

British Steel was relaunched on June 1 last year after the completion of the sale of Tata Steel's Long Products Europe business to Greybull Capital – an investment firm and turnaround specialist.

The first birthday present was hailed by Paul McBean, the chairman of the works multi-union committee, as "fantastic".

Mr McBean said: "We warmly welcome this move by Greybull Capital to reward employees with a stake in the business that runs through their veins.

"They have helped transform the company and it is fantastic to see they will share in the success we are starting to see.

"The workforce has helped transform the company, with their sacrifices and hard work, and it is only right that they all get to share in its success."

Reversing the fortunes of the former loss-making Tata Steel Long Products business meant the town's steelmen and women scrapping previous long-standing bonus agreements, switching pension providers and taking a year-long three per cent cut in pay.

Greybull's four partners, who bought the business for a nominal £1, have helped in the turn-around by investing £39 million in the first year of trading.

British Steel's managing director Paul Martin said: "Every one of our employees has contributed to the turn-around of this business. They are the foundation of our recent achievements and just as importantly they are critical to our future.

"Linking this scheme to the future sustainability of British Steel makes perfect sense and while we have a considerable way to go I know we have the people to help us achieve our long-term vision".

At this stage the monetary value of the shares to be given to workers is not known. But British Steel insist they will always equate to five per cent of the overall equity of the company.

Employees who have been in the business since before June last year will receive their share of the allocation this month.

Read more: 120 jobs up for grabs at Scunthorpe Steelworks

Agency workers, contractors, apprentices and employees on fixed term contracts will not be included.

The British Steel share scheme is to be managed by the financial advisory firm of KPMG UK.

Partner Chris Barnes hailed the scheme as "a very positive initiative for the steel industry" and "very accessible".

British Steel chiefs have already pledged the three per cent cut in wages will be paid back this year.

But it is not known if the deal will also include a wage increase following a pay freeze last year.

Mr McBean said: "We are in discussions with the company around pay, which are ongoing at the moment."



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