UK – Workers for steelmaker ASW in Wales are to take a high-profile case over their lost pensions to the European Court of Justice.

The case, which has attracted a lot of media attention in the UK, centers around hundreds of steelworkers of Allied Steel and Wire.

They are suing the British government because it had failed to protect its pension fund when Allied Steel and Wire went into receivership in July 2002.

As a result of the company’s collapse, more than 800 workers lost their jobs. A lot of them also lost 90% of the value of their occupational pensions.

A British judge has now ruled he would refer the case to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The steelworkers allege British ministers failed to implement European regulations.

According to union leaders, the European insolvency directive would have protected the workers, and should have been implemented by the British government in the early 1980s.

In March, the UK government said it was trying to work out a way to compensate the steel workers. British union leaders fear confidence in the country’s pensions system will not be restored unless the Welsh steel workers, and workers in similar circumstances, are rightly compensated for their losses.