Hull's trawlermen will get payouts at last (video)
FORMER trawlermen are set to receive payouts after a deal was struck to resolve a long-running pensions dispute.
The Mail first revealed the scandal five years ago when Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson discovered thousands of workers from the 1960s and 1970s had not received payouts from funds including the Humber Fishermen's Pension Scheme.
But after two years of negotiations, insurance giant Aviva has agreed to wind up its existing pension scheme, make payments to men who say they did not receive any money and divide the remaining cash among unpaid trawlermen.
Missing beneficiary insurance will be provided to make sure that about 6,000 men can be paid while Aviva will also help fund a memorial to the lost trawlermen being organised by fishing heritage group (Stand).
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• Video by students at Hull College's Digital Media Journalism course. Archive footage courtesy of the Yorkshire Film Archive ...
Speaking at a Stand reception at Westminster, Mr Johnson praised men who "were among the finest in the land" and said the event was "about heritage and justice, a memorial for the 6,000 trawlermen who were lost at sea".
He said: "Not only did these men do such a dangerous and difficult job, but they were classified as 'casuals' and thrown out of work, then we found they didn't get pensions.
"Now, we have an agreement to resolve the pensions issue and ensure that widows who will receive consolatory payments under the Compensation Scheme can produce proof of probate."
Mr Johnson also launched a competition to find the best design for the trawlermen's memorial, which will be built on a site at St Andrew's Quay after Hull City Council signed a 50-year lease last month.
The memorial will commemorate the 6,000 Hull trawlermen who lost their lives over the past century. The estimated cost is about £450,000, £185,000 of which has already been raised – largely from individual donations.
Selected designs will be presented to the public for comment before a judging panel selects the winning scheme. Stand hopes construction will begin no later than October next year, and completed by June 2014.
Former trawlerman Jim Williams said he was hoping for something that "wasn't just a statue".
He said: "I hope the memorial will tell some of the history of how we used to work, some- thing that's educational."
Stand Chairman Charles Pinder said he looked forward to inviting potential designers to St Andrew's Quay to explain their "hopes and aspirations" for the site, as well as a memorial.
He said: "The aim is to build a development for present and future generations."