Long Service Award


I had a strange letter from Tata Steel yesterday, apologising for a delay in providing me with a Long Service Award voucher. Now that’s something I hadn’t really thought of, but considering that I started work at British Steel on the 2nd of January 1996, I must have reached the 20-year milestone in the beginning of this year. Still, given the parlous circumstances of the company, which only got worse in the few months prior to my retirement, it was not actually something that I had expected to hear of.

The wording in the letter is rather strange. It states that “There have been a number of ongoing issues with provision of the vouchers” and later in the letter “… we are unable to accurately provide you with a date as to when vouchers will become available”. Makes you wonder what sort of altercation is going on behind the scenes. Are outside companies no longer willing to honour Tata’s voucher scheme, thinking that they might never see their money if they allowed the use of vouchers which they couldn’t recoup if the company went bust, or found a different owner.

All very mysterious, but since I haven’t had any communication from inside Tata Steel since the day I retired, I can’t really fathom what’s going on. I was given a name to contact should I want a cash sum instead of a voucher, so maybe I’ll use this avenue to see what’s happening.

Still, it makes you realise what a maelstrom the uncertain situation for those remaining in Strip Products UK must represent. There must be many people crossing both fingers and toes and hoping for the best, but fearing the worst.

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