Airport Workers Strike

  Pine Man 15:53 21 Dec 2007

The Unite union has called 24-hour strikes at most major airports starting at 0600 on 7 and 14 January, followed by a 48-hour strike starting at 0600 on 17 January. The workers are protesting against the company's plans to close the final salary pension scheme to new employees.

On the radio this morning the union spokeman stressed that they didn't want to inconvenience travellers - so a strike won't!!

The company's plan to close the final salary pension scheme doesn't even affect the existing workers so what is their gripe? Lots of these pensions have ceased but existing staff are safeguarded.

Makes me mad!!

  v1asco 16:18 21 Dec 2007

It is the same as anything else, they are taking away someones money. I am sure if I joined a Company that had ceased final salary pension and no one had put up a fight I would not think much of my Union.

But I agree that striking is not good.

  anskyber 16:26 21 Dec 2007

Ultimately, assuming they do close the scheme, it will be interesting to see how it affects the recruitment of new staff.

Frankly if the final salary scheme is unaffordable then larger contributions might need to be made by the employees. The best final salary scheme bar none is the one the Police get with retirement at 55. They do however pay a higher % of their pay into the scheme when working. The way forward I think.

  spuds 16:36 21 Dec 2007

The problem with pension funds, especially the earlier ones, was the drain on companies resources. Hence the fact that quite a number of these funds got milked at times, leaving very little in the funds when companies went bust.

Take as an example the present situation of the Royal Mail, and one of the reasons why they now want to change working practises and contracts. The Royal Mail cannot contribute to these funds any longer, because the gaps of final payments are getting wider.

On a personal note, I have just been involved with sorting out some pensions, for myself and other people. If I, and possibly some of the other people had known a number of years ago, what I/we know or have found out now, I/we would have made alternative provisions for later life.

The only thing that makes me slightly annoyed, is that some bosses, even though they want to stop these pension funds, still have substantial amounts placed in their pension funds due to special contractual reasons.

  spuds 16:42 21 Dec 2007

As you rightly say, the police have a very good final salary pension scheme, but so do some governmental jobs including local councils.

  anskyber 16:52 21 Dec 2007

That's certainly true but the % level of pension and the age at which it can be drawn is not as good as the Police.

  Pine Man 16:57 21 Dec 2007

The police pay 11% for their pension, which I believe is probably the highest contribution of any group of workers.

It makes you wonder what the airport workers are paying for their pension at the moment?

  anskyber 16:59 21 Dec 2007

Actually from 2006 it's 9.6% with a 50% final salary pension after 35 years.

  oresome 17:17 21 Dec 2007

It does seem ironic that most companies are now pulling out of final salary pension schemes, at least for new employees.

Yet not very long ago, many of these schemes were awash with money to the extent that companies and often their employees had pension contribution holidays.

At the time, younger and foolish, I welcomed the holiday. Those employees older and wiser than me argued at the time that improved pension benefits would be a better response to the surplus.

  Jak_1 20:05 21 Dec 2007

Looks like Manchester Airport is going to be extra busy then, though it's the largest airport outside of London it is not run by BAA but is owned by Manchester City Council. No strike actions forcast there.

  CatTrading 20:15 21 Dec 2007

Business will take a nose dive for a few days.
And will only make some customers use non-BAA airports!

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