UK - Workers at steel giant Caparo are to go on strike next week over the closure of their defined benefit pension scheme.
Workers at Caparo’s plants in Scunthorpe and Tredegar say they will not call off the strike unless a compromise deal is reached.
They have already imposed an overtime ban and their union, the ISTC, told Caparo that members would start a “work to rule” from yesterday (Wednesday).
ISTC general secretary Michael Leahy said: “We have issued the company with written notice of one-day strike action at both plants starting at 6am on Wednesday July 17 and continuing every Wednesday thereafter.”
Leahy also confirmed that members at Caparo’s Wrexham plant were being balloted on industrial action – a move that would see three-quarters of the company’s steel products division taking part in the protest.
The action follows Caparo’s decision to close its final salary scheme and replace it with a stakeholder plan.
The ISTC also claims that Caparo has been pressurising staff to sign up to the new scheme or face losing their life cover.
The union accuses the company of trying to rush through the decision to close the DB scheme despite having a fund that is in surplus and far from crisis.
*Big Food Group scheme trustees also face the prospect of legal action over their part in the company’s move to scrap its final salary scheme.
The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw), together with 920 non-union affiliated Big Food employees, are already taking legal action over the firm’s decision to close its £524m scheme.
The employees’ law firm, Salans Herztfeld & Heilbronn, and Usdaw have both confirmed that trustees could also be liable.
The company said: “We are assured that the changes do not contravene pension or employment laws. Our concern is that this exercise is unhelpful to colleagues and may lead them to huge expense.”
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