Pension dispute at logistics company

Heinz National Distribution Centre
Heinz National Distribution Centre

WORKERS at the logistics firm attached to Wigan’s Heinz factory are locked in a pension dispute with bosses.

A letter to members, shown to the Wigan Evening Post, shows the four unions representing staff at the giant Wincanton site at Martland Park voicing concerns that their current entitlements could be under threat.

Like many companies around the country, Wincanton withdrew its Final Salary Arrangements last year and agreed with the unions to discuss how to improve the other pension scheme arrangements.

But the unions say they fear the company is going back on its word.

The letter reads: “While Wincanton has confirmed they are reviewing the pension provisions in place, they have refused to guarantee that members will not lose out as a result of this review.

“Following discussions, the Joint Trade Unions now believe that the company are looking to renege on the agreement made last year and further reduce your pension entitlement, potentially taking it to the very minimum which they can legally provide.”

Currently at Wincanton, employees are eligible to join a pension scheme which offers matched contributions with seven per cent of wages saved into it with the company investing the same amount too.

Trade union reps on the Pensions Forum, along with the national officers from the Joint Trade Unions, met shop stewards from across the country to formulate their response to the current position. The letter added: “At this meeting, the shop stewards were extremely angry at the company’s imbalanced approach.”

Wincanton were contacted for a comment but hadn’t responded at the time of going to press.