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Unite welcomes pensions Bill, expresses ‘astonishment’ at delay

Unite the Union yesterday welcomed the parliamentary debate on a draft law on private sector pensions, but said it was “astonished” that the GSD had delayed the Bill to seek further consultation.

The GSD had supported the legislation in principle, including backing its first stage in the parliamentary process.

But the party voted against taking the final stage of the legislative process and urged more time to seek input from stakeholders and examine the Bill in detail, adding that there was no urgency given that its provisions did not come into force until 2020.

The GSD was lambasted in Parliament earlier this week and yesterday, Unite added its voice of concern too.

“At long last we have seen the pension Bill taken to parliament,” the union said in a statement.

“This is definitely a move welcomed by Unite and one that the union has campaigned on, although we don’t believe the bill has gone far enough.”

“We intend to pursue further improvements even after the current bill is enshrined in law.”

“Astonishingly the GSD Opposition believes there is a need for further consultation when workers have been waiting for this to materialise for the last six years.”

“The importance of decent pensions and retirement benefits for private sector workers cannot be underestimated.”

“Those private sector workers who retire with these pensions will in turn being spending their retirement earnings in the private sector, thus fuelling the sector further.”

“Decent terms and conditions in the private sector, including pensions are of paramount importance & employers in the sector should recognise this bill as a progressive step forward.”