Senior executives of the pottery company Imerys have refused an offer by the T&G union to negotiate an alternative to pension cuts.
The union was holding a series of mass meetings in Devon and Cornwall this week to discuss holding a ballot for industrial action over attacks on the workers’ final salary pension scheme.
“This is a profitable company which has paid out high dividends, but has plundered the pension scheme for millions to pay for redundancies and early retirements,” says Tony Woodley, general secretary of the T&G.
As a result of the changes by Imerys some 2,500 pension scheme members will see their pension benefits downgraded. Many workers will lose up to one third of the value of their pension and some will lose as much as 40 percent.
The company has already closed the scheme to all new employees. The moves have angered union members, particularly as the company took a three year pensions holiday and refused the advice of trustees in 2002 to start paying pensions contributions again.