Grampian bosses meet union leaders to thrash out pensions deal

By Sarah Britton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Grampian country food, Pension, Tax

The Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) is meeting with Grampian Country Food Group’s chief executive David Salkeld tomorrow (August...

The Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) is meeting with Grampian Country Food Group’s chief executive David Salkeld tomorrow (August 16) to attempt to resolve a pension dispute involving more than 870 workers.

Employees are fighting to save their pensions after the firm decided to close its final salary scheme and set them a deadline of August 12 to agree to an alternative proposal. The union claimed that Grampian had reneged on its initial deadline of August 26. However, the company denied the allegations and said it was concerned with the “misrepresentative and uncooperative nature of the union”.

Workers were advised by the T&G to safeguard their pension rights by signing an agreement, but to make it known that they had been pressurised. “This is a ludicrous situation,” said the T&G. “This is not Grampian’s money to be playing around with; this is the people’s money.”

Early last year, Grampian informed employees that the company’s final salary pension scheme was running at a deficit. Sites affected were Haverhill in Suffolk, Sandycroft in Deeside, Cambuslang and Coupar Angus in Scotland and Llangefni in Wales.

The consultation process began in March 2005, but staff contested the company’s defined contribution scheme. The T&G suggested alternative solutions to Grampian, which were rejected. “We believe that Grampian never had any intention of discussing our proposals for cost savings in any meaningful manner. They may soon find out that ‘as ye sow, so shall ye reap',” said the T&G’s Paddy McNaught.