BMW UK Workers on Strike Over Pension Issues

Apr 01, 2017 09:30 AM EDT | Yen Palec

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BMW workers based in the United Kingdom have recently voted in favor of staging a strike. The job action is about what workers describe as "pensions robbery." Reports revealed that up to 3,500 BMW staff based in the UK are on strike.

Reports revealed that three particular facilities are affected by the strike. The Mini plant based in Oxford, the Rolls-Royce facility based in Sussex, and the engine and parts factories based in Swindon and Birmingham have all participated in the strike.

The facility in Oxford builds more than 200,000 Mini cars annually. The plant in Sussex can build up to 4,000 Rolls-Royce luxury cars in a year, while the Birmingham plant can produce about 200,000 engines in a year.

The workers are complaining about BMW's plan to close the company's final salary pension. Unions claim that such scheme will reduce a worker's retirement package by up to £160,000. BMW's plan will affect around 5,000 staff.

BMW's plan to drop its current pension scheme has been widely criticized by many labor groups claiming that it is violating the rights of workers. Moreover, BMW has recently reported that the company posted record earnings in 2016 surpassing more than 2 million car units sold in a single year.

In a statement acquired by BBC, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said, "BMW need 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."

The recent strike came at a critical time for BMW's operation in UK. The company is currently in the process of deciding where to build the electric version of the Mini, according to The Telegraph.

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