A 24 hour strike by BMW workers making car engines and the Mini was being solidly supported today (April 19), as workers mounted picket lines and production lines lay idle over the luxury carmaker’s plans to close the final salary pension scheme by May 31.
The stoppage by Unite members is the first ever by BMW’s UK workforce and involves members of the BMW (UK) operations pension scheme working at BMW plants in Cowley, Hams Hall in the West Midlands and Swindon.
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke, who joined workers out on the picket lines today, said that today’s “solidly supported strike” should “serve as a wake-up call to BMW’s bosses and underlines the determination of Unite members to defend their hard earned pensions.
“BMW workers are deeply alarmed by the company’s plans which could see some of them lose up to £160,000 in retirement income,” he added. “BMW bosses need to get their heads out of the sand and recognise this is no way to treat a workforce, which has helped deliver record profits and record sales of the Mini and Rolls-Royce motorcars.
“We would urge BMW’s bosses to listen to its world class workforce, drop its deadline for the pension scheme’s closure and negotiate a settlement which is for the business and the workforce. Otherwise the alternative will be more industrial action over the coming weeks and continuing disruption to production.”
- Pic by Mark Thomas at a picket line in Cowley