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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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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:

triangleBromley library workers win strike campaign

triangleMay elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care

triangleGender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

triangleSouth West Socialist Party conference

Strike:

triangleUCU members vote to end pensions dispute

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triangleFCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

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triangleObituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017

Pension:

triangleStrike action forces bosses to retreat but keep the pressure on

Jobs:

triangleRetail crunch: even giants not immune as 21,000 jobs disappear

Pay:

triangleUsdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism

Car industry:

triangleCourt slams Tory air quality plans

Chichester:

triangleCallous Tories slash care services

Agency workers:

triangleBin workers - fighting back wins!

Swindon:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Oxford:

triangleOxford Socialist Party: The election result and what comes next

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