Union vows to fight Pilks job cuts and pension changes

St Helens Star: Up to 120 jobs are under threat at Pilks' St Helens sites and the GMB union claims 'Draconain' pension changes are being lined up. Up to 120 jobs are under threat at Pilks' St Helens sites and the GMB union claims 'Draconain' pension changes are being lined up.

UNION officials will oppose any move by Japanese owned glassmaker Pilkington’s to axe jobs and make sweeping changes to the company’s pensions.

GMB will carry a consultative ballot of its 500 St Helens members about proposed changes that it claims could reduce final pensionable pay.

The union claims the introduction of a cap on pensionable pay will erode past and future benefits by at least a fifth - and up to 40per cent for younger members.

The news comes on the back of Pilks, whose parent company is Nippon Sheet Glass, announcing it is cutting 33 jobs at Watson Street and 87 across its float plants at Greengate and the Cowley Hill.

It follows a drop for demand within the float glass and solar glass markets.

The union has vowed to challenge compulsory redundancies and raised the possibility that it will ballot for industrial action over “Draconian” pension measures Charlie Leonard, a GMB senior organiser said: “It has to be said that the company is suffering financially and at this moment in time is making heavy losses.

“Nonetheless, in terms of the redundancies, the GMB is determined to reduce and mitigate the impact of job cuts and to resist compulsory redundancies.

“On pensions with the changes the younger you are in the PSS scheme the worse it would be.

“In some cases it could reduce final pensionable pay by between 20 to 40per cent. This draconian step is being resisted by the GMB.

“Not only does it erode future benefits it also has an impact on past benefits i.e. accrued pension.

“Even though the manufacturing outlook is gloomy in the short run, our members are prepared to stand up and fight against these detrimental and Draconian proposals to reduce their pensions which will apply in the longer term.

“We are presently undergoing a consultative ballot of our members within Pilkington Glass to see whether or not they want to accept or reject the company’s proposals on pensions.

“This could well lead to a ballot for industrial action if the company does not change its position. GMB is determined to ensure that our members’ pensions and jobs are protected.”

Updates to follow

Comments (13)

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6:11pm Mon 28 Jan 13

keepitreel says...

so the union openly admits the company is in trouble and loosing money but still insists in threatening industrial action to protect its members golden pensions,what will happen if they deside to close the factorys and move to a cheaper country with less union involevment no jobs, no pensions, and no future employment for the kids,no wonder more and more people have turned thier backs on the unions
so the union openly admits the company is in trouble and loosing money but still insists in threatening industrial action to protect its members golden pensions,what will happen if they deside to close the factorys and move to a cheaper country with less union involevment no jobs, no pensions, and no future employment for the kids,no wonder more and more people have turned thier backs on the unions keepitreel

7:43pm Mon 28 Jan 13

pitbullboxing says...

Not once , in all the jobs I have had public and private sector has a union been any good in any instance I have ever known. Take your money - for nothing. Strike - but won't pay a days wages.
Not once , in all the jobs I have had public and private sector has a union been any good in any instance I have ever known. Take your money - for nothing. Strike - but won't pay a days wages. pitbullboxing

7:49am Tue 29 Jan 13

smith&weston says...

Look forward to seeing our glorious leader standing on the picket line. How she must be excited by a return to the good ole days of flying the red flag in the faces of the capitalist scum.
Look forward to seeing our glorious leader standing on the picket line. How she must be excited by a return to the good ole days of flying the red flag in the faces of the capitalist scum. smith&weston

10:10am Wed 30 Jan 13

Bill Bradbury says...

A strike will play straight into the hands of the Japanese owners who will just close glass making in St.Helens and re-locate. It's a set-up. The problem is that Pilks K glass has been superceded by a more efficient product, so it's not selling abroad, plus a worldwide slump in orders.

The Pigs are now in control of Animal Farm, a play I listened to this week-end, and much as it grieves me the unions have very little power to change things having been totally neutered by the unemployment market where employment consists of low pay, eroding conditions of service and tempory contracts.

We all know what the last protracted strike at Pilks under Messrs Caughey et al, ended up as. It became a public company subject to company law and profits.

My anger is at those who regularly contribute to this site who support such action and pay crocodile tears at those who will lose their jobs and whose families will suffer. Unions, including my own, have lost the pensions debate, with poorer returns and a doubling of contributions plus having to work longer.

Someone somewhere has to make a stand and withdrawing one's labour may be futile but it is all workers have got to protest, whilst some who think it is a good thing "laughing it up" as the saying goes are comfortably off, support divide and rule and swallow all the economic lies that underpins raids on pensions.

OAP perks will be next, the only strata of society with any disposable money and assets apart from the tax dodging benefit cheat millionaires.

I wish Pilks workers well and GMB who represent them but I would not hold my breath for a successful outcome. Pilks could go the way of all the other British firms flogged off to foreign control, the fingers of Thatcher stretching well into this Century.
If there is to be anything left of Pilkingtons in this country will be to support the home market call for glass that is if it is not undercut by cheaper imports. So all may not be lost-forever the optimist!!??
A strike will play straight into the hands of the Japanese owners who will just close glass making in St.Helens and re-locate. It's a set-up. The problem is that Pilks K glass has been superceded by a more efficient product, so it's not selling abroad, plus a worldwide slump in orders. The Pigs are now in control of Animal Farm, a play I listened to this week-end, and much as it grieves me the unions have very little power to change things having been totally neutered by the unemployment market where employment consists of low pay, eroding conditions of service and tempory contracts. We all know what the last protracted strike at Pilks under Messrs Caughey et al, ended up as. It became a public company subject to company law and profits. My anger is at those who regularly contribute to this site who support such action and pay crocodile tears at those who will lose their jobs and whose families will suffer. Unions, including my own, have lost the pensions debate, with poorer returns and a doubling of contributions plus having to work longer. Someone somewhere has to make a stand and withdrawing one's labour may be futile but it is all workers have got to protest, whilst some who think it is a good thing "laughing it up" as the saying goes are comfortably off, support divide and rule and swallow all the economic lies that underpins raids on pensions. OAP perks will be next, the only strata of society with any disposable money and assets apart from the tax dodging benefit cheat millionaires. I wish Pilks workers well and GMB who represent them but I would not hold my breath for a successful outcome. Pilks could go the way of all the other British firms flogged off to foreign control, the fingers of Thatcher stretching well into this Century. If there is to be anything left of Pilkingtons in this country will be to support the home market call for glass that is if it is not undercut by cheaper imports. So all may not be lost-forever the optimist!!?? Bill Bradbury

11:24am Wed 30 Jan 13

pitbullboxing says...

I can only speak from personal experience , and I felt that I was armed with a chocolate teacup with a hole in the bottom.
I can only speak from personal experience , and I felt that I was armed with a chocolate teacup with a hole in the bottom. pitbullboxing

1:13pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Bill Bradbury says...

pittbull, I do agree as one who has stood on a few picket lines against a "stacked" media and lies from those in power. It takes guts to stand up for a principle and something that is plain wrong. Most so called Union people prefer to keep their head down by innaction.

They expect unions to support them in unfair dismissals but fail to support the union on a matter of fact and principle.

You will read in the next few weeks yet another picket line and strike action which illustrates the truth Orwell wrote in Animal Farm. Unless you have been there solidarity and mutual support will be something that will pass most Tories by. Ask any miner, fire brigade and Prison Officer Union.
pittbull, I do agree as one who has stood on a few picket lines against a "stacked" media and lies from those in power. It takes guts to stand up for a principle and something that is plain wrong. Most so called Union people prefer to keep their head down by innaction. They expect unions to support them in unfair dismissals but fail to support the union on a matter of fact and principle. You will read in the next few weeks yet another picket line and strike action which illustrates the truth Orwell wrote in Animal Farm. Unless you have been there solidarity and mutual support will be something that will pass most Tories by. Ask any miner, fire brigade and Prison Officer Union. Bill Bradbury

2:48pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Parrcenter says...

two years ago i was part of the 'future'
and was so 'privilaged' to secure myself employment at cowley hill on the solar project. the brave new world lasted 11 months with the loss of nearly 200 jobs. since then more redundancies have followed and everyone involved got the feeling NSG (not pilks) would not be in St.Helens in the near future. i take no pleasure in being proved right
two years ago i was part of the 'future' and was so 'privilaged' to secure myself employment at cowley hill on the solar project. the brave new world lasted 11 months with the loss of nearly 200 jobs. since then more redundancies have followed and everyone involved got the feeling NSG (not pilks) would not be in St.Helens in the near future. i take no pleasure in being proved right Parrcenter

2:49pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Bill Bradbury says...

I note the Strike action by teachers at Newton Primary has been posted a few minutes ago. We will read all about it in the Star tomorrow.
I note the Strike action by teachers at Newton Primary has been posted a few minutes ago. We will read all about it in the Star tomorrow. Bill Bradbury

3:38pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Sankey says...

If pilkington s leaves St. Helens which sounds like its only a matter of time now then where does this leave St. Helens? Is the third macdonads going to fill the gap? Also what does this mean for our glorious council who now rely increasingly on business rates. St. Helens is heading to be one of the most derived areas in the uk. And bill I have no idea what those teachers have got to complain about but they need to count their blessings most people could not dream of their pay, conditions, security and unbelievable pension
If pilkington s leaves St. Helens which sounds like its only a matter of time now then where does this leave St. Helens? Is the third macdonads going to fill the gap? Also what does this mean for our glorious council who now rely increasingly on business rates. St. Helens is heading to be one of the most derived areas in the uk. And bill I have no idea what those teachers have got to complain about but they need to count their blessings most people could not dream of their pay, conditions, security and unbelievable pension Sankey

4:58pm Wed 30 Jan 13

pitbullboxing says...

I'm a big fan of Orwell Bill , and I would most definitely agree that civil liberties have suffered greatly under this government and the last one too.
I'm a big fan of Orwell Bill , and I would most definitely agree that civil liberties have suffered greatly under this government and the last one too. pitbullboxing

5:01pm Wed 30 Jan 13

pitbullboxing says...

It seems 1984 is a handbook now , as opposed to a novel. For most governments these days too - double speak - we don't have wars , we have interventions - if you know what I mean.
It seems 1984 is a handbook now , as opposed to a novel. For most governments these days too - double speak - we don't have wars , we have interventions - if you know what I mean. pitbullboxing

11:00am Thu 31 Jan 13

Bill Bradbury says...

Pittbull I know your comment about those who control us in power react as Animal Farm might be regarded as over the top but sadly it is not. I don't understand why this should be so but so true these days. It just saddens me.
Pittbull I know your comment about those who control us in power react as Animal Farm might be regarded as over the top but sadly it is not. I don't understand why this should be so but so true these days. It just saddens me. Bill Bradbury

11:11am Fri 1 Feb 13

jumper says...

I've just been reading that David Cameron has said (too many youngsters want to be footballers or pop star) and he's gang is running the country!
I've just been reading that David Cameron has said (too many youngsters want to be footballers or pop star) and he's gang is running the country! jumper

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