About 100 people lobbied the Welsh assembly on Wednesday of last week over the threat to public sector pensions. Among those taking part were members of Caerphilly, Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf local government branches of the Unison union.
Corus Group, the Anglo-Dutch steel company, last week became the latest company to restructure its final salary pension scheme, cutting early retirement rights and increasing workers’ contributions.
From April, workers will no longer have the opportunity to retire up to five years early in return for putting in 35 years’ service at the company. Long-serving employees who have already accrued early retirement rights will keep them.
Keith Hazlewood, the GMB union’s national secretary said, “Retaining the final salary pension scheme was GMB’s number one objective in Corus. This new package secures this objective. GMB is recommending that our members in the scheme vote to accept the package.”
Workers and unions at Corus are anxious to defend the final salary scheme. But the scheme has a big surplus. By using the fear about pensions bosses have implemented a wage cut and worsened workers’ pensions. Such a deal should be resisted.