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Swindon Mini workers to stage 'pension robbery'...

Swindon Mini workers to stage ‘pension robbery’ protest

04 April 2017

Unite members at BMW’s Swindon plant will be staging a protest tomorrow (Wednesday 5 April) from 12:00 – 14:00 over the carmaker’s plans to close their final salary pension scheme.

Tomorrow’s protest outside the plant between gate 1 and gate 2 on Bridge End Road in Stratton St. Margaret, Swindon follows last week’s 93 per cent vote in favour of strike action by workers at Swindon and the German carmaker’s other UK sites at Cowley, Goodwood and Hams Hall. 

The protest involving workers who make parts for the Mini, including doors and bonnets, coincides with tomorrow’s meeting of BMW Group’s European Works Council at the Swindon site. It is expected that Unite representatives will update their European counterparts on the current dispute.

BMW’s plan, to close the pension scheme by 31 May 2017, could see some of the car firm’s UK workforce lose up to £160,000 in retirement income. It follows figures from the carmaker last month, 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.

Commenting Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “BMW Group workers at Swindon and other UK sites will not let BMW pinch their pensions.

“This is effectively deferred wages which the German car maker is seeking to take away through the closure of the final salary scheme. Swindon workers and the rest of the UK workforce deserve better than the possibility of losing up to £160,000 in retirement income.

“With industrial action highly likely and all the disruption that it brings, we would urge BMW to step back from its 31 May deadline to close the pension scheme and negotiate meaningfully to find a solution which is good for the business and good for the workforce.”

ENDS  

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.