BMW workers took their fight to protect their pensions all the way to the car maker’s headquarters in Munich on Wednesday (March 29) days before their ballot for industrial action closes today (March 31).
The Unite members (pictured above), who make engines as well as the iconic Mini and Rolls-Royce motorcars at Cowley, Goodwood, Hams Hall and Swindon, handed in a petition to BMW bosses as they voiced their anger at the potential eminent closure of their final salary pension scheme. The plans could see workers lose as much as £160,000 in retirement income.
Thousands of BMW workers are now voting on whether to take industrial action over BMW pension plans. Among them is Unite deputy plant convenor Steve Sargeant (pictured above) who took part in the Munich protest. Ballot results are expected later today (March 31).
During the trip to Munich, Unite plant convenor Norman Gough and Unite national officer Tony Murphy were among those meeting with Manfred Schoch of German trade union IG Metall, who is also chair of the BMW European Works Council (EWC) (pictured above). The Unite delegation requested support from the EWC and Schoch confirmed they would stand in international solidarity.
Unite regional officer Fred Hanna said the trip was “very worthwhile”.
“By presenting the petition, we brought our case straight to two senior BMW executives, one of whom serves on the company board,” Hanna noted. “The demonstration was well supported and successful.”
Stay tuned this afternoon as results of the industrial action ballot are announced this afternoon.
- pics by Robert Koester / Team IG Metall BMW