MEMBERS OF the TGWU and Amicus unions lobbied parliament on Monday of this week in protest at their employer, US telecoms firm APW, robbing them of their pensions. Some 1,200 staff and pensioners have lost around 80 percent of their pensions after the company wound up its pension scheme.
One APW pensioner has lost £31,000, while a worker who was due to retire last Christmas will receive nothing for two years. The workers were calling for their case to be included in the financial assistance scheme. The government was forced to set the scheme up because of repeated pensions scandals, but it is very limited and does not cover the APW workers.
Amicus member Neil Warren has lost “something in the region” of £20,000 in the pensions snatch—nearly a year’s pay. Neil says, “I was saving for my old age—doing what the government is telling us to do. Then, through the backhanded behaviour of the company I’ve worked for and the government I used to support, they’ve managed to rob me between them.”
The company announced that the pension fund would be closed in November. A new scheme will give workers 15-20 percent of what they would have received under the old one. “The pension I should have got was about £14,000. Now it will be £2,000 to £3,000,” says Neil. “We’ll be back here for the TUC day of action in February.”