Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/890/22288

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2016

Pensions strike by water workers in Warrington

Andy Ford, Warrington Socialist Party

United Utilities, a company with revenues of 1,700 million and profits of 664.3 million in the last year, is attacking its workers' pensions. The company paid a dividend of 37p per share to its backers in the City but now claims it cannot afford decent pensions for the staff who generate those revenues.

Members of the GMB general union gathered to picket and protest outside the company's Warrington headquarters. The pickets were watched by a handful of company 'marshals' from just inside the perimeter.

GMB steward Steve explained that the company has served notice that it wishes to close the 'defined benefit' pension scheme, and replace it with an inferior 'defined contribution' system.

"The difference is that under defined benefits you know what you're going to get, and the company plugs any gaps, but under defined contribution you know what you pay but not what you'll get, and the risk is put on the employee.

"The company is not responsible for any shortfalls. Up till last year the company was reporting that the scheme was doing OK, now they say they can't cover the future costs".

United Utilities says that it values its employees as 'stakeholders'. But figures obtained by GMB show that in the last year it distributed 259 million in dividends to shareholders, but is now fighting over 15 million for the pension scheme.

Equal?

Obviously where the 'stakeholders' are concerned some are more equal than others!

The three year revaluation of the scheme is due this year. GMB is demanding that the full accounts are opened for inspection.

But United Utilities is only willing to share some of the figures and even then only for 'validation' by the union, not proper consultation.

So workers have been left with little choice. 90% voted for industrial action with 82% backing full strike action.

The GMB represents workers in process control, water collection and treatment and repair and maintenance - the heart of the business.

It looks like the company and their shareholders are not going to have it all their own way.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 24 February 2016:


What we think

EU referendum: Vote OUT the Tories


Socialist Party news and analysis

Junior doctors: back new strikes

Trident: thousands to march - scrap all nukes!

Butterfields tenants demand action against evictions at Labour estate agent awards

Children take over County Hall in protest at cuts

'Benefit tourism' twaddle

Cameron, Cameron, meal snatcher

Them & Us


People's budgets

Tower Hamlets to take anti-cuts fight into the council chamber

Leeds sets up people's budget campaign

Leeds Labour 'anti-austerity' meeting: jam tomorrow


Socialist Party feature

Unison at a crossroads


International socialist news and analysis

Hong Kong: new year riot

International news in brief


Workplace news and analysis

Victory for striking EDF energy workers

Pensions strike by water workers in Warrington

Fresh round of strikes against fresh round of cuts

Stress, abuse and long hours for London bus drivers

Workers unite to fight pay attack in Leicester

Workplace news in brief


Socialist history

Khrushchev: the Stalinist who denounced Stalin


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

One-woman tragedy's fiery call for revolution

Letters


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Huddersfield: save our A&E!

Momentum must "take the fight to the right"!

Gateshead: reprieve for respite centre

Save Derbyshire children's centres

Wakefield: no fracking, no cuts

Cumbria cuts - the grim reaper

Campaign to save Pent Valley continues

Socialist Party Wales and North West conferences


 

Home   |   The Socialist 24 February 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Pensions:

triangleFrench workers demonstrating in Paris on 16 January; Over 40 days of strike action have taken place against the government's attack on pensions. Photo James Ivens

trianglePay, jobs, pensions... Vote for a fighting general secretary

triangleGeneral secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more

triangleUCU ballots - yes to strike action on pensions, pay, workloads and equality

triangleStop the latest Tory attack on our pensions

Workers:

triangleRenewed protests shake Iranian leaders

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleUnion lawyer arrested on security guards' picket line

triangleWestex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

Water:

triangleMajor funding for flood risk management needed

triangleAusterity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence

triangleNationalisation is answer to Southern Water cover up

Warrington:

triangleCampaigners force U-turn over NHS privatisation

triangleCharging scandal in Warrington and Halton NHS Trust

Strike:

triangleLondon bus drivers ballot to strike

GMB:

triangleCouncil concedes to striking winter gritters' demands

Pension:

triangleFrance: Battle over pension rights continues

Union:

trianglePCS: Time to rebuild the left

Benefits:

triangleGeneral election 2019 round-up

Pay:

triangleNorthern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

15/1/20

Unison

Reverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer

15/1/20

NHS

Build for strikes to save NHS

15/1/20

Labour leadership

Labour Party leadership contest: Fight for a mass anti-austerity, workers' party with a socialist programme

15/1/20

Nationalisation

No free ride for the airline bosses - nationalise Flybe now!

15/1/20

Them & Us

Them & Us

15/1/20

Minimum wage

Low Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

8/1/20

Austerity

Ignore the hype - austerity goes on: organise to resist

8/1/20

Capitalism

Capitalism must go - fight for socialism

8/1/20

Minimum wage

Tory minimum wage hike not enough

8/1/20

Labour leadership

Labour leadership election

8/1/20

Brexit

Trouble ahead for Johnson: Brexit is far from 'done'

8/1/20

Middle East

Suleimani's assassination - Middle East thrown into turmoil

8/1/20

Shell

Shell pays 0 corporation tax, and plans huge hike in fossil output

8/1/20

Children

Children need intensive care? We don't care!

8/1/20

Rail

Northern Rail franchise in question: nationalise the railways!

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999