Car workers, who make engines, the Mini and Rolls-Royce motorcars for BMW, will be protesting outside the German carmaker’s flagship showroom on Park Lane in Mayfair, London, W1K 7TT tomorrow (Saturday 29 April) over the firm’s ‘pension robbery’.
The members of Unite, working at BMW plants in Cowley, Hams Hall in the West Midlands, Swindon and Rolls-Royce in Goodwood near Chichester will be protesting from 11:00 to 13:00 over BMW’s plans to close their final salary pension scheme.
The scheme’s closure pencilled in for 31 May could see some workers lose up to £160,000 in retirement income. Tomorrow’s protest follows two 24 hour strikes, which have caused significant disruption and left production lines at a standstill, leaving customers waiting for the delivery of their new vehicles.
A further six 24 hour strikes are planned over the coming weeks, including a stoppage at Hams Hall next week on Wednesday 3 May and at Rolls-Royce in Goodwood on Friday 5 May (see notes).
Commenting Unite national officer for BMW Fred Hanna said: “Our members take great pride in building the vehicles on display in BMW’s flagship showroom on Park Lane. It is because of their hard work and efficiency that BMW and its shareholders can enjoy bumper profits and record sales.
“Yet their reward from BMW bosses is the closure of their pension scheme and the potential loss of up to £160,000 in retirement income. We will be highlighting this ‘pension robbery’ and the refusal of BMW to talk about affordable options to keep the scheme open when we protest outside the carmaker’s posh Park Lane showroom.
“We urge BMW’s bosses to listen to its world class workforce, drop its deadline for the pension scheme’s closure and negotiate a settlement which is good for the business and the workforce.”
BMW’s plan to close the pension scheme by 31 May 2017 comes as latest figures showed a surge in BMW Group’s annual net profit of eight per cent to €6.9 billion, as well as a record year for Mini sales and a six per cent rise in Roll-Royce sales.
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors
24 hour strike action is planned for the following days at the following locations:
Wednesday 3 May – workers at Hams Hall strike
Friday 5 May – workers at Rolls-Royce at Goodwood strike
Tuesday 16 May – workers at Cowley, Goodwood, Hams Hall and Swindon strike
Thursday 18 May - workers at Cowley, Goodwood, Hams Hall and Swindon strike
Sunday 21 May – workers at Cowley and Swindon strike
Wednesday 24 May – workers at Goodwood and Hams Hall strike
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.