Tata Steel UK has approached ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) in an effort to avoid a strike and resolve its pension dispute with the UK trade unions.

“We have contacted ACAS to bring in independent expertise in mediating a resolution to the UK pension dispute," said Tor Farquhar, executive director of human resources for the UK steelmaker. "We have requested ACAS to immediately approach the National Trade Union Steel Coordinating Committee to ask them to attend talks.”

Industrial action, consisting of an overtime ban and a work to rule, is scheduled to start tomorrow with a one-day strike planned for Monday 22 June.

“We have been talking to the trade unions since November 2014 to develop a fair and sustainable pension scheme for all UK employees," Farquhar said, adding that the unions agree that changes need to be made to tackle the scheme's projected shortfall of up to £2 billion.

“It remains the company’s intention to provide a high quality and competitive pension scheme for our employees while continuing Tata Steel’s significant record of investing in its UK assets so we can build a sustainable business here,” Farquhar said.