Unite announced that it would be suspending further industrial action at the carmaker BMW today (May 17) while members considered an offer from the company in a dispute over the closure of the final salary pension scheme.
Three 24-hour strikes scheduled for Thursday May 18, Sunday 21 and Wednesday May 24 will be suspended while workers at BMW car plants in Cowley, Goodwood near Chichester, Hams Hall in the West Midlands and Swindon are balloted on the offer.
Recent weeks have seen four walkouts as part of the dispute, with the latest one yesterday (May 16) involving workers at all four plants bringing engine, Mini and Rolls-Royce motorcar production lines to a standstill.
“The planned strike action will be suspended while members consider BMW’s offer over the coming days,” said Unite national officer for BMW Fred Hanna.
“While Unite is not recommending the offer, as it will have different outcomes for different people and their pensions, members should be proud that by standing together they have forced BMW into making this offer.
“Without the action that Unite members have taken and the resolve they have shown in recent weeks, BMW would not have made this latest offer, which Unite believes members should have an opportunity to consider,” he added.
“Because members need to consider the detail of the offer first, Unite will not be sharing it with the media and will give a further update once members have decided on the next steps.”
Unite members will be consulted and have the opportunity to have their say at workplace meetings over the coming days. It is expected that the ballot on the offer will run from May 24 to June 9.
In the meantime non-cooperation with flexible working arrangements will remain in place until the outcome of the ballot.