The four UK plants that develop cars and components for BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce in Oxfordshire, Chichester, Birmingham and Swindon employ thousands of workers. Of these workers, about 3,500 of them are in the Unite union and have threatened to strike over pension issues.
BMW apparently wants to move workers pension from one plan to another and it could cost some UK workers up to €160,000 in retirement money. Because of this, the Unite union took a vote to strike and 93 percent were in favor of the strike. According to Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, “BMW needs to reflect on this extraordinary vote in favor of industrial action and the real possibility that its UK workforce will strike for the first time under its ownership in the coming weeks.”
Unite simply wants to negotiate with BMW to reach a common ground. BMW seems open to this as well, with a BMW spokesperson claiming “BMW Group has always prided itself in providing excellent pensions for its staff and wants to act now to protect future pension provision for its UK workforce.”
So it seems that there will be some sort of negotiation in the future, which will help both BMW and the Unite union to reach a middle ground. This is for the best, of course, as BMW surely wants to keep its employees happy and doesn’t want them striking, while the employees want their pensions to remain safely intact. If such a negotiation doesn’t happen soon, though, Unite workers are planning on meetings to figure out when to strike. Hopefully this is worked out soon, for the sake of both parties.