Manchester firm backs union pension package

A Manchester manufacturer is to contribute to a trade union-funded pension scheme under a new recognition deal. Coatings firm Northpoint, which has 80 staff, has struck a partnership deal with engineering union AEEU. The AEEU set up a stakeholder pension with Friends Provident last year. Northpoint managing director Gary Howse said the pension scheme is […]

A Manchester manufacturer is to contribute to a trade union-funded pension scheme under a new recognition deal.

Coatings firm Northpoint, which has 80 staff, has struck a partnership deal with engineering union AEEU. The AEEU set up a stakeholder pension with Friends Provident last year. Northpoint managing director Gary Howse said the pension scheme is innovative. `It just shows how trade unions have changed.’

The union has pledged itself to partnership. `There is a commitment from the union to understand the need for profitability, higher productivity and increased competitiveness,’ said AEEU general secretary Ken Jackson.

The recognition deal is the latest in the run-up to implementation of Fairness at Work proposals, which guarantee collective bargaining where a majority are in favour. Many firms are opting for voluntary deals before the legislation comes into force later this year.

But the independent Industrial Relations Services has issued a warning over forced recognition deals. `Whether happy workplace marriages can begin with shotgun weddings remains to be seen,’ said David Shepherd, editor of IR Employment Trends.