BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
'First' UK strike over pensions
Caparo steel company logo and welders
Steel workers begun a walk-out on Wednesday morning over pension rights at three steel factories owned by Labour peer Lord Paul.

Workers at the Caparo steelworks in Wrexham, Scunthorpe and Tredegar are unhappy at the company's decision in July to close its final salary pension scheme.

This is believed to be the UK's first strike over the closure of a company pension scheme.


All the workers want is the security in retirement that they have saved for

Eddie Lynch

The ISTC union, which represents steel and metal workers, claims that 340 workers have joined the stoppage.

Caparo employs 2,000 workers in 20 plants and offices in the UK.

The strike action, which commenced at 0600 (0500 GMT) on Tuesday, followed the breakdown of talks between the company and the ISTC union.

In recent weeks ISTC members at the plants had been operating an over-time ban and working to rule.

Security in retirement

Eddie Lynch, assistant general secretary of the ISTC union, says that this is the first in a series of 24-hour strikes to force the company to reconsider its decision to close the final salary scheme.

According to Mr Lynch: "All the workers want is the security in retirement that they have saved for."

Angad Paul, Caparo director, told BBC News Online that the company had been "exceptionally co-operative" in negotiations with the ISTC union.

He added Caparo was still looking at all the options - including the possible re-opening of the company final salary scheme.

Pension shortfall

Caparo is the latest in a long line of companies to announce the closure of its employee final salary pension scheme.

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

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

In such cases firms face the possibility of having to make up any shortfall between the assets of the final salary scheme and the benefits promised to members.

In many cases, this risk has persuaded companies to close down final salary schemes and switch to money-purchase schemes where the employee bears most of the risk.


Government plans

Help and analysis

Case studies

TALKING POINT

More news from north east Wales
See also:

28 Jun 02 | Business
Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes