8 Days Remaining

Tuesday 13th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Peter Lazenby

MAKERS of Rolls-Royce and Mini cars threw out plans to worsen their pensions yesterday.

The British workers rejected plans by Germany-based BMW, which owns the iconic brands, to replace their final-salary pension scheme with a defined contributions scheme in a ballot, with 56.6 per cent against the plan.

Unite made no recommendation either to accept or reject the proposals, as they would affect members in different ways.

The union’s shop stewards from all four BMW plants will meet today to discuss their next steps in the dispute.

Unite national officer for BMW Fred Hanna said: “While Unite did not recommend the offer, as it would have different outcomes for different people and their pensions, it is clear that it did not go far enough or deal with the concerns many of our members have over BMW’s pension plans.

“We would urge BMW bosses to reflect on the result and listen to the workforce by further engaging in meaningful talks with Unite.”

Final-salary pensions guarantee pensions based on a percentage of a worker’s basic earnings immediately before retirement.

The plans have already resulted in four strikes which disrupted production of the two models at plants in Cowley, Goodwood near Chichester, Hams Hall in the west Midlands and Swindon.

A BMW spokesman said the firm was “disappointed” that workers rejected the deal.

“We believe the offer, which resulted from lengthy negotiations with the union since September last year, was fair.”