UK - A bitter war of words has broken out ahead of the legal wrangle between unions and the government over member protection.
Both sides are “confident” they will win the European Court of Justice hearing which will determine whether the government implemented the 1983 European Insolvency Directive fully.
If the ruling goes against the government, it will be forced to compensate more than 1000 former Allied Steel & Wire workers who lost up to 90% of their pension savings when the firm folded in 2002.
And it will open up claims from around 60,000 other workers in a similar predicament at a cost of about £4bn.
The department for work and pensions said it felt “confident” of its position after being “assured” by its lawyers and the European Commissioner.
Amicus and the ISTC are taking the government to the European Court of Justice in a bid to secure compensation for more than 1000 former ASW workers, who lost up to 90% of their pensions when the firm became insolvent in July 2002.
But Amicus is equally confident of victory. “We have been advised we have a strong legal case. We believe the government’s proposal of the Pensions Protection Fund is a clear signal that existing provisions are inadequate.
Successive governments’ failures to implement the directive fully, means they have a duty of care for those people who have lost out as a consequence.”
A date for the trial is due to be announced next week.
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