BMW Group bosses were accused of ‘penny pinching’ and seeking to rob car workers making the iconic Mini and Roll-Royce motorcars of their future pensions today (Thursday 9 March), as the carmaker reported record sales and volumes.
Today’s figures from BMW, showing a surge in BMW Group’s net profit of eight per cent to €6.9 billion, as well as record year for Mini sales and a six per cent rise in Roll-Royce sales, comes as members of Unite, Britain’s largest union, get ready to vote for industrial action.
Ballot papers are expected to start arriving through the letterboxes of approximately 4,500 BMW workers in a dispute over plans to close their final salary pension scheme by 31 May 2017. Closure of the BMW occupational pension scheme could see workers at Cowley, Goodwood, Hams Hall in the West Midlands and Swindon lose up to £160,000 in retirement income.
Talks aimed at trying to resolve the dispute broke up earlier this week without agreement, with both sides agreeing to meet again on 22 March.
Commenting Unite national officer Tony Murphy said: “BMW’s UK workforce has worked hard and contributed massively towards to yet another year of record results.
“It is simply shameful that their reward for making a record number of Minis and Rolls Royce cars should be the threatened closure of their pension and the loss of up to £160,000 in retirement income.
“BMW’s penny pinching bosses need to wake up to the sense of betrayal, which is growing over their broken pension promises, and the strong possibility that workers will back industrial action.
“Rather than trying to railroad through these pension changes, we would urge BMW to work with Unite to find a solution that safeguards car workers’ pensions and also works well for the business.”
Voting in the industrial action ballot closes in three weeks’ time on Friday 31 March.
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.