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Steel pension row reaches Downing street


BBC News, September 4, 2002



Caparo steel company logo and welders

Workers from steel plants campaigning against plans to close their final salary pension scheme have taken their fight to the prime minister.


Six members of staff from Caparo in Wrexham met colleagues from Scunthorpe and Tredegar to hand in a petition to their bosses and Tony Blair on Wednesday.


I could lose 30,000 out of this

Tony Baines steelworker

Tony Baines works at Caparo in Wrexham he said staff know what they want.

"We need the final salary pension scheme re-introduced - we're talking about our families future," he said.

"I could lose 30,000 out of this."

The schemes guarantee members a pension income based on the number of years of service and the salary when the worker leaves the company.

Industrial action

Many schemes have seen their funds shrink as a result of stock market falls.

Workers at the three plants have held three one-day strikes to show bosses they are not happy with the loss of their pension plan.

However, on Tuesday members of The Community Union ISTC, voted to increase their industrial action from one-day a week to two.

Eddie Lynch, Assistant General Secretary of ISTC said workers are supporting further walkouts.


"So far there have been three one-day strikes which have been 100% supported by ISTC members in Scunthorpe, Tredegar and Wrexham," he said.

"Wednesday marks the fourth one-day strike and a delegation of workers from each factory will travel to Caparo House in London to hold a lobby."

Mr Baines has worked for the company for 24-years.

He said, he has had enough of the firm: "If it carries on, I won't be their much longer because I have no faith in the company.

"I think a lot of people are now disillusioned."

"It used to be a family company but it's not the same anymore."

The 40-year-old said he hopes the government will change the law so company pension schemes are protected.

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