Socialist Worker

Pensions battle at IBM

Issue No. 2161

IBM is one of the latest companies looking to close its final salary pension scheme to existing members.

Other companies using the recession to attack their workers’ pension rights include Barclays, BP, Morrisons and Fujitsu.

The company’s plan has provoked an angry response from workers in IBM.

Around 150 people attended an employee forum at Hursley, near Southampton, on Tuesday of last week.

The venue had to be changed twice as so many people wanted to hear what was said.

People applauded when speakers criticised senior management. A number of workers have joined the Unite union since the proposals were announced.

Many members of the scheme have also posted angry comments against the company and top bosses on forums on the website of the Association of Members of IBM UK Pension Plans.

The level of the attacks is leading to a rise in union membership, with the highest rate of recruitment to the Amicus part of Unite being seen in the IT and communications section.

Unite is planning to launch a consultative ballot of its members at the Fujitsu Services IT company over taking action on the attacks.

The company has now said that the consultation period on pensions will not end before 25 September, so the union has delayed the ballot.

Unite’s campaign against the closure of the scheme has seen a 20 percent increase in union membership at the company.

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Article information

Tue 21 Jul 2009, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2161
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