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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 April 2017

Car workers strike at BMW in defence of pensions

photo BMW Werk Leipzig/CC

photo BMW Werk Leipzig/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Chaffey, Southern Socialist Party secretary

By a huge 93%, car workers at BMW, producing the Mini and Rolls-Royce, have voted to strike for eight days in defence of their final salary pension scheme. Despite massing profits of 5.89 billion, in a time of growing economic and political uncertainty, employers are looking to defend their profits at the expense of workers.

This is the first ever strike at BMW in the UK but comes after years of growing volatility following the great recession of 2007-8. The unfolding crisis in the car industry saw mass layoffs, including 850 BMW agency workers at Cowley in 2009, sacked with one hour's notice.

Now workers stand to lose up to 160,000 of their retirement income as BMW plans to close the final salary pension scheme on 31 May. The strikes will take place at Oxford, Swindon, Hams Hall in Warwickshire and Goodwood near Chichester.

These strikes take place alongside similar pension strikes and disputes in the private sector. Currently workers at the Atomic Weapons Establishment are taking a further eight days of strike action in defence of their pension scheme.

The recent deal at steelmaker Tata saw workers forced to accept attacks on their pensions to 'save' jobs in this age of austerity.

At the same time the government is continuing attacks on workers by raising the age of retirement. This strike at BMW represents an important stand by car workers unprepared to pay the price for an economic crisis they did not cause.

There is an urgent need to bring together all the attacks workers are facing on pensions, pay, jobs and benefits in a campaign of coordinated strike action that could force an early general election and an end to Tory austerity!

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In The Socialist 12 April 2017:


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Carlisle NHS privateers leave patients at risk

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Related links:

BMW:

triangleBosses' pensions robbery

trianglePensions strikes continue at BMW

triangleWorkers fight back against race to the bottom!

trianglePensions strike at Rolls Royce

triangleBMW strikers determined to win pensions dispute

Workers:

triangleThe 'winter of discontent' - When workers could take no more

triangleDVLA: Workers ballot on further strike action

triangleBuild a mass working-class climate movement with socialist policies

triangleWorkers need a pay rise

Strike:

triangle60 steelworks scaffs march in second week of all-out strike

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Pensions:

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Car workers:

triangleHonda bosses confirm closure: Unite must signal it will fight

Pension:

triangleDefend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

Jobs:

triangleMarch to save Stratford arts jobs from Newham Labour attacks

Pay:

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Car industry:

triangleNationalise Ford to prevent closure

Chichester:

trianglePutting socialism on the map in Chichester

Agency workers:

triangleGoodlord sacks strikers - fight the penny-pinching, bullying bosses!

Swindon:

triangleWorkers discuss action to save Honda jobs

Oxford:

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