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OAPs 'talk tactics' with Red Robbo; EX-TRADE UNION ACTIVIST URGES UNITED FRONT IN PENSIONS FIGHT.

A FORMER trade union activist has been giving pensioners in Coventry a few tips on how to band together to fight for a better deal.

Retired car workers' union leader Derek Robinson - known as "Red Robbo" in his militant heyday - told a capacity audience at the city's Methodist Central Hall that campaigners should join forces to get maximum results.

He said the pleas of 10.8million elderly people for higher pensions would be more likely to be heard than those of separate organisations.

Mr Robinson was speaking at a gathering organised by the city branch of the British Pensioners and Trade Union Action Association (BPTUAA).

Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham, one of the guest speakers, talked about the problems facing the elderly.

He said: "I thought it was a very useful meeting. There is a whole range of issues there that I am interested in and will continue to raise."

City councillor Karen McKay (Soc, St Michaels) and Jack Sprung, the BPTUAA's national general secretary, also addressed the gathering.

John Parks, chairman of the association's Coventry branch, said: "Pensioners want a fair deal. We want a good pension."

He said the level should be based on average earnings and not linked to inflation.

Other topics for discussion included health, transport and the problems "tomorrow's pensioners" are likely to face.

Mr Parks added: "The meeting went very well. It was a capacity audience and there were some good points raised."

His branch is now planning its part in the association's national pensions protest on November 27.
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Author:Padgett, Richard
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 21, 2000
Words:255
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