According to investigations by the UK’s GMB union, UK glassmaker Pilkington has a deficit in its pension fund of about GBP 300 million. Pilkington admitted there is a “significant deficit” in its pension scheme and said it is working to agree a recovery plan by 31 March 2013.
Union investigations have revealed that UK glassmaker Pilkington has a deficit in its pension fund of about GBP 300 million.
The GMB union raised the prospect of industrial action as it announced a consultative ballot of its 500 St Helens members about whether to reject potential sweeping pensions changes. It claims the introduction of a cap on pensionable pay will erode past and future benefits by at least a fifth - and up to 40% for younger members.
The news comes after the announcement that Pilkington is cutting 120 jobs in St Helens, which mean 33 positions at Watson Street and 87 across the Greengate and the Cowley Hill float plants, due to a drop for demand in glass markets across Europe.
The slump has also led Pilkington to put its UK 6 line on line, as well as place furnaces at Watson Street and Cowley Hill on ‘hot hold’ until April.
Pilkington admitted there is a “significant deficit” in its pension scheme and said it is working to agree a recovery plan by 31 March 2013.
“In the current environment some changes must be made to enable the Scheme to remain open to limited future accrual.”
“Even with the proposed changes, a deficit will remain and needs to be managed.”
The company described the jobs losses as a “completely separate” situation, adding that is working with trade unions to reach the required numbers through voluntary redundancies.