Union chief criticises Blair for “nothing to say on pensions”

The
GMB union has reacted to Tony Blair’s speech at the TUC conference, saying much
more will be expected of him by workers before the next general election.

Kevin
Curran, GMB general secretary, welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to the
Warwick Policy Forum in July – the 56-point deal agreed over the summer – which
included a commitment a ‘women at work’ commission.

Curran
criticised Blair for having ‘nothing at all to say on pensions’.  The Prime Minister said there would be
"no easy solution" to the pension’s problem.

"The
blunt truth is that the population is ageing; people live longer; and yet want,
unsurprisingly, the higher living standards they experienced while working to
continue in retirement," Blair said.

He
said a balance needed to be struck between what the state, the individual and
the employer contributed with the basic state pension being an "essential
part of our solution to this issue".

Curran
also called for a framework of employment rights that guarantee respect at work
for those in the manufacturing sector.

By Michael Millar

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