Steel firm staff secure new pension deal

Staff
at Caparo Steel Group have won Britain’s first strike in defence of final
salary pensions.

Employers
and staff agreed a deal last Friday. The ISTC steel union said the new final
salary scheme was "worth just as much" as the one that had been
closed to existing members in June.

Caparo
had tried to change the pension plan to a less valuable stakeholder scheme.
Later, the offer was changed to include a less generous final salary scheme.

The
company said it needed to change the scheme due to stiff competition in the
steel market.

ISTC
members staged five one-day strikes at weekly intervals in defence of the
scheme – the first strikes in the company’s history.

Michael
Leahy, general secretary of ISTC, said: "Final salary pensions have been
one of the great success stories for providing security in retirement."

The
Caparo scheme remains closed to new members despite the new deal.

By Quentin Reade

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