Unite the Union

Unite the Union

October 03, 2007 08:11 ET

Unite members vote for industrial action at Siemens

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2007) - 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.

In the region of 6000 Siemens staff will be affected by the company's proposals to close existing final salary schemes and replace them with a defined benefit money purchase scheme from January 2008. Even by Siemens' own figures, a 48 year old employee will lose over GBP57,000 in pension income over retirement, with potentially an even greater loss for woman members.

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 over twelve months of talks.

"The closing of the final salary schemes will cost its' hard working members many thousands of pounds in retirement and will transfer the risk in providing pensions from one of the world's largest blue chip companies to individual employees.

"This is not only an attack on thousands of Siemens employees but on the state which will have to bear the burden of people retiring without adequate pension provision."

Siemens has made a number of substantial changes to its final salary pension schemes over the past 5 years including closing these to new entrants, increases in employee contributions and reduction in pension accrual rates.

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

Contact Information

  • Peter Skyte
    07768 931302
    Unite Press Office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761.