STEEL WORKERS at three plants owned by the Caparo Group are determined to fight to save their pension schemes. The Caparo Group aims to freeze its final salary pension scheme, effectively stealing the contributions workers have built up over the decades. The dispute is crucial to the tens of thousands of other workers facing similar attacks.
More than 50,000 final salary pension schemes were wound up over the last decade and 30,000 more are under threat. The workers planned to strike for their pensions in July but the action was suspended for more talks. The employers have refused to back off. Now workers are starting an overtime ban and work to rule.
So far the dispute has centred on factories in Tredegar, South Wales, Wrexham and Scunthorpe. But the group owns factories across Wales and the West Midlands, employing around 2,400 workers. The dispute is embarrassing for New Labour.
Its research showed that pensions are one of voters' top priorities, but the Caparo Group is owned by prominent Labour peer Lord Paul.