A LEADING pensioners’ group last night came out in support of Grangemouth’s striking workers, comparing them to the pioneering British protesters who campaigned for a universal state pension more than 100 years ago.
The National Pensioners Convention Scotland also condemned Ineos’s action as the latest in a series of attacks on retirement benefits.
Chairman George Henderson said last night: “Fair-minded citizens will understand absolutely why the Grangemouth workers are striking.
“This is just the latest in a long line of corporate swipes at workers’ pensions – and it must be resisted.”
Mr Henderson, who is also vice-president of the T&G Retired Members Association, added: “Companies close their final-salary schemes to protect themselves from stock-market volatility, but it is a callous and cynical move, particularly when set against the rewards the private sector chief execs give themselves.”
He said the group “saluted” the workers. “They are the latest in a long line of workers, stretching back to the pension pioneers of the 1890s, who are prepared to stand up and fight for dignity and financial security in retirement.”
The original campaign to secure a state pension was led by social reformers and trade unions. It led to the Old Age Pensions Act of August 1908.
Meanwhile, the country’s biggest independent conservation group, WWF Scotland, said fears over potential fuel shortages had highlighted a need for a robust, low-carbon transport strategy.
The organisation said such an environmentally-friendly system should be backed by strong legislation to curb climate emissions.
Today, the group publishes its report showing that cars can remain part of a low- carbon sustainable transport solution, but only if they are powered by electricity rather than oil.
WWF Scotland acting director Dan Barlow said: “Our report shows that if the political will is there, it is possible to break transport’s addiction to oil.”
He said the Climate Change Bill, currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament, was a chance to put the nation on a path to a low-carbon future.