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15 December 2011
Workers at Rugby CEMEX to strike over pensions?
Unite, Britain's biggest union, has agreed to ask workers at the building materials company, CEMEX, if they are prepared to be balloted for industrial action over pensions. "The dispute concerns workers in the cement business at Rugby, Warwickshire and South Ferriby, North Lincolnshire, as well as drivers and other workers based at a number of sites across the country", says Rugby TUSC spokesperson Pete McLaren.
"What this shows", he continued, "is that attacks on pensions are happening in the private sector as well as in the public sector, as we said on 30th November when we supported strikes around the slogan 'Fair Pensions for All'.
"Rugby TUSC, and Rugby Against the Cuts, will support CEMEX workers as we support public sector workers.
"Attacks on pensions in the public and private sector are driven by an ideological desire by the coalition government to make workers pay for the economic crisis they did not cause.
"In this instance, Unite is challenging the company over its two pension schemes. Firstly, its decision to close the defined benefit (DB) pension scheme to existing members.
Secondly over its defined contribution (DC) scheme which was opened to new starters about five years ago. The union believes that the scheme provides inadequate benefits to workers.
"Unite wants an outcome which would provide decent pensions for all CEMEX employees. However, to date the company has refused to enter into serious discussions.
"Unite is calling on the company to reconsider its attitude and position and is consulting with Unite members on strike action".
Unite national officer John Allott confirmed: "Unite is to ask workers at CEMEX if they are prepared to take part in an industrial action ballot over pensions.
The company are refusing to negotiate with the union to achieve decent pensions for all its employees. We hope that the company will now get round the table and negotiate in good faith".
CEMEX is a global building materials company and a leading supplier of cement, ready-mixed concrete and aggregates.
In the UK, CEMEX also provides asphalt, roof tiles, concrete block solutions and railway sleepers. The company generates over £1 billion in annual sales and has a UK supply network with over 500 locations.
From a Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) press release
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