Unite the Union

Unite the Union

October 21, 2007 19:01 ET

Unite claims Siemens commitments to protect pensions seriously flawed

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 19, 2007) -

Embargoed until Monday 22nd October 2007

As Unite prepares to ballot Siemens' workers for strike action, Unite national officer, Peter Skyte today claimed that Siemens' enhanced commitments on pensions were inadequate.

Members facing the closure of their final salary pension scheme are being balloted on industrial action. More than 80% of the staff supported industrial action in a consultative ballot last month.

In an attempt to sweeten the plans the company is proposing to enhance its contributions to the money purchase scheme and to revalue members' accrued pensions up to the end of 2007 by 2% more than inflation. But even by Siemens' own figures, a 48 year old employee will still lose over GBP 57,000 in pension income over retirement, with potentially an even greater loss for women members.

Moreover, Unite believes that if parts of the company are sold off in the future they are leaving staff without any guarantees that the enhancements will transfer with the new owner.

The union is stepping up its campaign against the company's plans to close the final salary pension scheme for existing members and replace it with a money purchase scheme from January 2008. 6000 of the 9000 members of the scheme are affected by the company's proposals.

Peter Skyte, Unite National Officer, said:
" Unite believe that Siemens are leaving its staff in the hands of the stockmarket while giving potential suitors a massive loophole to avoid paying the pensions enhancements that the company is proposing.

Unite is in the process of balloting its members for strike action in order to protect its members ' pension benefits.

Siemens have already made a number of substantial changes to the final salary pension schemes over the past 5 years . Including , closing these to new entrants, increasing employee contributions and reducing pension accrual rates. Unite believes that this company has gone too far. "

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  • Ciaran Naidoo
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