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July 11, 2017

BMW workers at UK plants accept pensions offer

A dispute at BMW's UK manufacturing operations over pensions has been resolved after the company submitted a revised offer.

By David Leggett

A dispute at BMW's UK manufacturing operations over pensions has been resolved after the company submitted a revised offer.

The dispute surrounded the terms for ending the final salary pension scheme.

A total of 81.5% of Unite members working at BMW's car plants in Cowley, Goodwood near Chichester, Hams Hall in the West Midlands and Swindon, backed a revised offer bringing the long running pensions dispute to an end.

According to the labour union Unite, the revised offer sees the closure of the final salary pension scheme and workers moved into one of the 'leading defined contribution pension schemes in the auto industry'.

The pensions deal includes greater flexibility on the timings of transitional payments totalling GBP22,000 over three years. Alternatively, workers can opt for a transitional payment of GBP25,000 spread over three years to be paid into their new defined contribution scheme.

Unite said that BMW initially offered workers transitional payments worth GBP7,000 in an effort to solve the dispute, which saw four walkouts involving workers at all four plants and brought engine, Mini and Rolls-Royce motor car production lines to a halt.

Last month, Unite threatened more strikes at the firm's British plants if BMW failed to agree a deal after the previous offer was rejected in a ballot by members.

BMW said its employees would join a defined contribution scheme from October 2017 which has a company contribution of up to 16 percent.

"We believe that our pension proposals are fair and will help to ensure our competitiveness as a business, which is ultimately in the long-term interest of all our employees," BMW said in a statement.

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