Strike looms at BMW as pensions talks continue

bmwTalks between Unite and BMW over the carmaker’s plans to close the defined benefit pension scheme are set to continue, but the threat of industrial action remains, Unite has warned.

Yesterday’s meeting involving Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, shop stewards and senior BMW bosses at BMW’s Cowley plant saw the union lay out its opposition to the pension plans.

The proposed closure of the final salary pension scheme by 31 May 2017 could result in car workers making the iconic Mini and Rolls-Royce motor cars losing as much as £140,000 over the course of their retirement.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “While there was a cordial exchange of views, BMW were left in no doubt as to the depth of anger their pension plans have generated.

“During the meeting Unite raised a number of questions over BMW’s rationale and calculations regarding the defined benefit pension scheme. The company will now reflect upon those and we trust engage positively with Unite in the finding a solution that safeguards car workers’ pensions and works well for the business.

“BMW should be under no illusion though. A failure to speedily respond to the points we have raised and negotiate meaningfully in finding a solution will result in a ballot for industrial action in the near future.”

BMW’s UK workforce is world class making over 260,000 Minis and record numbers of Rolls Royce motor cars in the last year. Their hard work and efficiency has contributed hugely to BMW’s record breaking profits of approximately £6 billion enabling the carmaker to lavish nearly £2 billion of dividends on shareholders.

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