Members of Unite, making Mini and Rolls-Royce motor cars for the German car giant BMW, have voted overwhelmingly to accept a revised offer over the closure of their final salary pension scheme, it was announced today (Monday 10 July).
A total of 81.5 per cent of Unite members working at BMW’s car plants in Cowley, Goodwood near Chichester, Hams Hall in the West Midlands and Swindon, backed a revised offer bringing a long running pensions' dispute to an end.
The revised offer sees the closure of the final salary pension scheme and workers moved into one of the leading defined contribution pension schemes in the auto industry.
Unite shop stewards did not make a recommendation on the deal, which also includes greater flexibility on the timings of transitional payments totaling £22,000 over three years. Alternatively, members can opt for a transitional payment of £25,000 spread over three years to be paid into their new defined contribution scheme.
BMW initially offered workers transitional payments worth £7,000 in an effort to solve the dispute, which saw four walkouts involving workers at all four plants and brought engine, Mini and Rolls-Royce motor car production lines to a halt.
Unite national officer Fred Hanna said: “Unite members have overwhelmingly backed the revised pension offer bringing this long running dispute to an end.
“BMW initially thought it could railroad its pension changes through with transitional payments of just £7,000. It’s testament to the resolve of Unite members and their solidarity that the carmaker was forced to more than triple these payments and give additional guarantees.
“BMW’s UK workforce is among the most efficient and skilled in the auto industry. We look forward to working with BMW to ensure the world beating Mini and Rolls-Royce motor cars go from strength to strength.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- 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.