UK - TUC general secretary John Monks has repeated threats of further strikes action if employers continue to junk final salary pension schemes.
Monks said: “If people are messing around with pension entitlements, I can’t think of a stronger argument for strike action.”
Earlier this week, trade unions accused employers which close company pension schemes of “betraying decades of trust” by workers.
The attack at the TUC conference comes at a time when unions are becoming increasingly vocal about the threat to workers’ pensions and increasingly militant about defending them.
Monks added: “We are all militants when it comes to defending and advancing pension rights. Even decent employers have betrayed decades of trust as they give in to City pressure to scrap quality pensions. Corporate Britain, with some notable exceptions, should be hanging its head in shame.”
Monks said cuts in pensions mark the first serious attempts to reduce wages since the Second World War. And he said that employers should expect strike action if they continue to slash pensions.
So far, unions have only taken strike action over pensions at steel giant Caparo, Westminster City Council and tractor firm Agco. But the powerful Rail, Maritime and Transport Union says its members are prepared to strike if any railway firm tries to introduce money purchase schemes for new recruits.
The TUC wants a new partnership between government, employers and workers. It believes the government should provide a decent state pension with firms doing the rest.
“Employers must be made to contribute to their employees’ pensions and should regain the right to make joining a pension scheme a condition of employment,” added Monks.
Standard Life has increased exposure to risk assets in three out of five funds in its Active Plus and Passive Plus workplace pension ranges.
Some 48% of employers are unaware of the services or help they offer to members of their defined contribution (DC) schemes, according to Aon.
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