UK: Ex-Ravenhead employees seeking pensions solution meet Govt. minister

Union officials from Ravenhead Glass have met the UK Government Pensions Minister to put the case of over 200 workers who lost their jobs when the Ravenhead plant at St. Helen“s, northwest England, c…

Union officials from Ravenhead Glass have met the UK Government Pensions Minister to put the case of over 200 workers who lost their jobs when the Ravenhead plant at St. Helen“s, northwest England, closed in March 2001. Ex-employees have not received any pension payments from the company fund, which was frozen when a GBP 5 million hole in the fund was discovered. Pensions Minister Ian McCarthy has now promised to write to the Belgium Government and contact the Pension Regulator about their difficult situation. Police investigations continue into alleged fraudulent practices by the company“s management and Belgian owners Durobor. St. Helens“ two Labour members of parliament, Shaun Woodward and Dave Watts, have taken up the workers“ cause. St Helens South MP Shaun Woodward said “I am very concerned that the present distribution rules and the fact that people who have worked for the same company for many years, can find themselves at the back of the pensions queue if companies go into administration. I believe we need better protection for all employees and that pension schemes should be given better protection.”