Siemens, which employs over 10,000 staff across Britain, is meeting serious resistance to its attempts to attack pension rights.
The company had already closed its final salary pension schemes to new employees, increased members’ contributions and reduced benefits, but is now coming back to close seven final salary schemes altogether.
Even by Siemens’ own figures, a 48 year old employee will lose over £57,000 in pension income over retirement, with potentially an even greater loss for women members.
Over 80 percent of Unite union members voted for industrial action in a recent consultative ballot, and the union is now going through the process of officially balloting members for industrial action.
This fight is of particular importance as several other major employers (including Capgemini, Atos Origin and Unisys) in the electrical engineering, electronics and IT sector are also looking at closing their final salary schemes.
Given that Siemens has multiple businesses in Britain, it will be important to make links at local and national level.
The campaign received strong backing from a recent meeting of the union’s national sector committee, which is encouraging regional sector committees to invite along speakers from the Siemens campaign.
Ian is one of a group of left candidates seeking nomination to the executive council of Unite. For more information go to » www.iansunitesite.blogspot.com