Unite members vote for industrial action at Siemens

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Unite members vote for industrial action at Siemens

John-Paul Kamath

Unite, the UK's biggest trade union, has today announced an overwhelming vote for industrial action at Siemens over plans to close its final salary pension scheme.

Unite members voted over 80% in support of industrial action resulting from a consultative ballot. The union is now preparing to ballot its members for industrial action.

The company is proposing to close existing final salary schemes and replace them with a defined benefit money purchase scheme from January 2008. The proposal will affect 6000 staff. Even by Siemens' own figures, a 48 year old employee will lose over £57,000 in pension income over retirement, with potentially an even greater loss for woman members, said Unite.

Unite National Officer, Peter Skyte, said, "We are now preparing to ballot our members for industrial action, as Siemens is a highly profitable company that can well afford to continue the final salary pension arrangements. The company has refused to consider any of the proposals we have put forward to address pension funding issues in more than 12 months of talks."

Sites potentially affected include Tyneside, Sheffield, Poole (Dorset), Hove, Hayes, Preston, Southampton, Norwich, Avonmouth, Belfast and Scotland.

In May this year, Siemens announced 9,000 redundencies.


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