Thousands of workers at the Siemens electronics group are set to ballot for strikes over plans to close the company’s final salary pension scheme to all members.
Unite, Britain’s biggest union, will begin a formal ballot after a consultative vote overwhelmingly backed a strike.
Siemens’s own figures show that after the changes a 48 year old worker would lose over £57,000 on average in pension income over the course of his or her retirement.
Siemens is one of the few large organisations to withdraw the final salary scheme for all employees, not just new recruits.
Rentokil has taken such action and Royal Mail wants to follow suit.
Peter Skyte, the Unite national officer, said, “We are now preparing to ballot our members for industrial action as Siemens is a highly profitable company that can well afford to continue the final salary pension arrangements.”
The changes, which will be enforced in January next year, affect 6,000 of Siemens’s 20,000 workers in Britain.
Unite said that up to 3,000 would be balloted for strike.
The consultative ballot saw an 80 percent vote in favour of strike action.
Any strike would hit SIemens’s operations in Tyneside, Sheffield, Poole, Hove, Hayes, Preston, Southampton, Norwich, Avonmouth and Belfast.
Two months ago, around 3,400 IT and business processing staff employed by the company secured 4 percent pay rises after threatening strike action over pay for work they were doing with the BBC.