Socialist Worker

Pensions protest

Issue No. 1884

FORMER WORKERS at firms which have gone bankrupt staged a sit-down protest in central London last Saturday over their lost pensions.

About 200 demonstrators stopped traffic at Oxford Circus. They are angry at the way they were treated by their former employers and at the government for failing to protect their pension funds.

A protester who used to work at the ASW steel firm in Kent told Socialist Worker, "We got shafted by the gaffers and bloody New Labour let them get away with it. It was a condition of employment that I join the pension scheme and I paid in for 30 years. Then the company wound up and went into receivership. We may get 30 percent of what we're due but we don't know. Now there are plans for a law to give pension protection. But it falls short of a full pension guarantee and it won't be retrospective. So we'll stay shafted."

Protesters whistled, chanted and waved placards during their protest. One group were dressed as undertakers and carried a coffin marked with the slogan "Pensions-buried with our future".

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Article information

Sat 17 Jan 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1884
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