Strike action called at Goodwood Rolls-Royce

Strikes are planned at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars headquarters at Goodwood in May. Photograph by Christopher Ison SUS-170901-162305001
Strikes are planned at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars headquarters at Goodwood in May. Photograph by Christopher Ison SUS-170901-162305001
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A series of strikes have been called which will include workers at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ manufacturing headquarters at Goodwood.

Union Unite today announced a series of 24-hour industrial action against the BMW Group, which owns Rolls-Royce, over the company’s plans to close its final salary pension scheme.

Unite says the strikes will involve up to 3,500 BMW workers, starting on Wednesday, April 19, and will take place at the German carmaker’s sites at Goodwood, Cowley, Hams Hall and Swindon.

Rolls-Royce said it was disappointed by the announcement following a number of meetings since a consultation began.

A spokesman said: “Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a subsidiary of the BMW Group.

“The Group has always prided itself in providing excellent pensions for its staff and wants to act now to protect future pension provision and to help improve the cost competitiveness of the UK as a manufacturing base.

“A number of planned meetings have taken place since the start of consultation on the proposed pension changes and the company is disappointed by Unite’s notification of industrial action.

“The company has put a number of options on the table to help employees transition to the proposed new pension arrangements and it remains open to negotiation.”

Strikes are scheduled to take place at Goodwood on May 5, 16, 18 and 24.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “BMW’s refusal to talk about affordable options to keep the pension scheme open means a sizable chunk of its UK workforce will be taking strike action for the first time in the coming weeks.

“Bosses in the UK and BMW’s headquarters in Munich cannot feign surprise that it’s come to this point.

“Unite has repeatedly warned of the anger their insistence to railroad through the pension scheme’s closure would generate and the resulting industrial action.”

Unite said some UK workers could lose up to £160,000 in retirement income and the UK action follows a protest in Munich last week.

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