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Further strikes possible at BMW

Alex Flynn, Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

A further wave of strikes involving car workers at the car giant BMW are ‘almost certain’ should further talks fail, Unite warned today (Tuesday 13 June).


Unite shop stewards from BMW car plants in Cowley, Goodwood near Chichester, Hams Hall in the West Midlands and Swindon, met today to discuss the next steps in a dispute over BMW’s plans to close the final salary scheme.


The meeting followed news yesterday that workers had rejected BMW’s latest offer by 56.6 per cent.


Warning BMW of further strike days, the shop stewards called on the car maker to engage constructively to hammer out a new offer that better addressed the reservations of members over BMW’s pension proposals.


“We expect to meet BMW in the coming days. Shop stewards from all of BMW’s UK plants are clear that further strike action is almost certain unless the company puts forward a new offer that better addresses members’ concerns,” said Fred Hanna, Unite national officer for BMW.


So far, the dispute has seen four walkouts involving workers at all four plants bringing engine, Mini and Rolls-Royce motor car production lines to a standstill.


Three 24 hour strikes scheduled in May were suspended while workers considered the offer, which would see the closure of the final salary pension scheme and workers moved into a defined contribution scheme.


“We would urge BMW bosses to engage constructively and work with Unite to hammer out a deal which is acceptable to our members and averts the disruption of further strike action,” said Fred.


Unite shop stewards did not make a recommendation on the offer, which also included a transitional payment of £22,000 spread over three years that would be subject to tax and national insurance. Alternatively, members could opt for a transitional payment of £25,000 spread over three years to be paid into their new defined contribution scheme.


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