Last week’s annual Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) conference gave its full backing to the union’s efforts to counter the erosion of final pension schemes that is prevalent across many industry sectors. It also opposed government moves to raise the retirement age.

Bakers are being treated no differently to other workers, general secretary Joe Marino told British Baker. But he stressed: “We have to continue campaigning against government attacks on pension rights.”

Marino said plans to raise the retirement age were “outrageous”. He was also highly critical of the CBI, whose members have complained they cannot afford the 3% compulsory contribution proposed in the pensions White Paper.

There were more than 200 delegates in a total attendance of around 300 at the Bridlington conference. In addition to expressing their concerns over pensions, they heard union president Ron Draper condemn the state of elderly care in the UK. Draper called for free health care at the point of need for everyone, regardless of age. “This is a wealthy country; we have got the money,” he said.