TUC supports strike action over pension rights

The TUC’s general secretary told Personnel Today he supports strike action
to prevent the erosion of staff pension rights.

The issue of pensions will be high on the TUC Conference agenda this week
due to union concerns over the number of employers replacing final salary
schemes with defined benefit schemes, and the high proportion of workers who
have little or no pension cover.

John Monks said: "I’m a pensions militant, there have been a lot of
broken promises from boardrooms over pensions. Employers cannot just wash their
hands of their pensions obligations to staff."

He believes employers that replace their final salary schemes with less
costly defined benefit schemes are selling their staff short.

The TUC has demanded the Government takes action and makes employers’
pension contributions compulsory.

"There is massive pressure on the Government to show it has a
purposeful approach to pensions in its autumn Green Paper. It cannot bury its
head in the sand with employers bailing out of quality pension schemes as they
are," said Monks.

"We are calling for employers to make a generous contribution to their
staff pension. The longer the issue is left, the bigger the problem gets."

Monks raised the issue after steelworkers at three separate plants recently
staged industrial action to protect final salary pension schemes.

A report by Amicus shows that the majority of union members are prepared to
follow suit to defend pension benefits.

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