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03 Apr 2017

BMW employees vote to strike over ‘pensions robbery´

BMW staff in Britain have voted in ‘overwhelming´ proportions to go on strike over the company´s plans to close its final salary pension, The Telegraph has reported.

As a result, the article notes, up to 3,500 workers at the car manufacturer´s nationwide sites could down tools and walk out. That includes the Rolls-Royce base in Sussex, the Mini plant in Oxford and engine and parts factories in Birmingham and Swindon.

According to Union Unite, there was a 72% turnout for the ballot, with an overwhelming majority of 93% voting in favour of strike action.

The dispute is over BMW´s plan to close its final salary pension scheme, which could see retirement packages shrink by as much as £160,000. Workers are calling it a “pensions robbery.”

Unite´s general secretary, Len McCluskey, called the vote “extraordinary” and urged BMW to reflect on “the real possibility that its UK workforce will strike for the first time under its ownership in the coming weeks.”

The sheer level of support for taking industrial action indicated that workers who have “contributed massively to BMW´s record revenues” were “determination to stand up for their pensions,” he added.

With uncertainty surrounding Brexit and discussions about introducing an electric version of the Mini, these are pivotal times for BMW.

A spokesperson from the German carmaker said that it was “disappointed” with the ballot result.

Copyright M2 Bespoke 2017

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