Socialist Worker

BT workers: 'We have to fight for our jobs and pensions'

by BT Workers
Issue No. 2128

The attack on the pensions of BT workers is taking place against the background of financial meltdown but it started much earlier.

The pension deficit, while affected by the credit crunch, has its real roots in BT closing the scheme to new entrants in 2001. This made investment returns lower.

Raiding the scheme in the 1990s to enhance pension benefits and pay them early for those volunteering for redundancy added to the problem.

While CWU and Connect union negotiators have mitigated the worst excesses of the BT attack, its scope is unprecedented, with a combination of higher contributions and a higher normal retirement age.

While workers could still retire at 60 they would do so with reduced pensions.

We must not be made to pay for the mistakes of the corporate fat cats who have lined their pockets with millions and have ensured that their own pension arrangements remain lucretative.

BT workers must reject the recommendations of both union executives and build a no vote in the ballots that will open at the end of November.

A rank and file led campaign could be the catalyst for strengthening the left within both unions and is the best protection against the attack on jobs.

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Article information

Tue 18 Nov 2008, 19:32 GMT
Issue No. 2128
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