WORKERS AT Caparo steel works are at the forefront of the battle to defend 'final salary' pension schemes. Crucially, they are not just talking - they are fighting.
The campaign over pensions was given huge publicity at the TUC this week. Caparo workers in Tredegar, Scunthorpe and Wrexham have held a series of one-day strikes. Now they are escalating to striking two days a week. An example of why they are taking action is the experience of Ken Holly. He is 58 years old and has worked at the Tredegar plant for 18 years.
He expected a £100 weekly pension when he retired, but that is no longer secure. Caparo wants him to risk his money on a share-based scheme that would go up and down with the stockmarket. Ken says, 'At our level, we can't afford to gamble with our old age pension. People feel very unhappy. We feel bitter.' Ken is also angry at Labour's national leaders.