Belfast Telegraph

Unite union leader meets BMW chiefs over pensions row

The leader of Britain's biggest union is meeting executives at car giant BMW in a bid to avert industrial action by thousands of workers over pensions.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, has already warned of "serious industrial action" by more than 7,000 workers if the company presses ahead with plans to close the defined benefit scheme by the end of May.

Mr McCluskey said: " I am pleased that BMW's senior team responded to my call for a meeting, and I am looking forward to a positive meeting today. We should be able to make headway because there is a viable alternative proposal on the table which would resolve this dispute and avert a damaging strike.

"But I say to BMW, be under no illusions. These workers are angry that their working lifetime savings are being threatened by an employer that is making significant profits, much of this down to the success of the world-class models made here in the UK. If the company continues to refuse to listen to reasonable alternatives, this anger will harden.

"My message to the company is that there is a sensible alternative which could safeguard Unite members' pensions and work well for the business.

"I urge BMW's management team to listen because failing to do so will see a ballot for industrial action, and with 96% of Unite's members indicating that this is the route that they are prepared to take to win justice, the company faces serious disruption."