Co-Steel hits back at its union critics

Management at Kent steel mill Co-Steel has rebutted union claims that workers are forced to return to work early or assume lighter duties rather than take sick leave. `We know of no employee who has a complaint about safety procedures or injury at our mill,’ said Hugh Billot, the personnel director. He welcomed the Health […]

Management at Kent steel mill Co-Steel has rebutted union claims that workers are forced to return to work early or assume lighter duties rather than take sick leave.

`We know of no employee who has a complaint about safety procedures or injury at our mill,’ said Hugh Billot, the personnel director. He welcomed the Health and Safety Executive inquiry started this month into Co-Steel’s accident reporting procedures.

Since August, there have been three accidents, including one death, at the plant.

The HSE inquiry follows claims by the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC) that the Canadian management is infringing human rights.

Co-Steel stopped recognising unions in 1992.

Billot denied that a British Safety Council award to the firm had been withdrawn and said that the BSC was dragging its heels in processing the award.

A BSC spokeswoman said that Co-Steel had been told that the award was suspended, after a BSC investigation at the mill which supported the ISTC claims that accident records had been falsified.