Socialist Worker

Rolls-Royce workers rev up as strikes against BMW’s pension robbery spread

Issue No. 2553

BMW workers protesting outside the Mini showroom earlier this month

BMW workers protesting outside the Mini showroom earlier this month (Pic: Alan Kenny)


Workers making Rolls-Royce cars in Goodwood, West Sussex, struck for the first time in almost 40 years last Friday.

The Unite union members are fighting against BMW Group’s robbery of their pension scheme.

David Elson, Unite convenor at the site, told the Chichester Observer newspaper, “This is a very passionate topic for a lot of people.

“A lot of people feel this is opportunistic greed by BMW— it’s nothing more than that.

“This is an organisation making billions of profits a year and this is an attack on the UK pension scheme.”

Bosses at BMW Group’s plan to close workers’ final salary pension scheme on 31 May.

This would steal thousands of pounds a year from workers’ retirement incomes—money they have already paid in.

Workers at the BMW engine plant at Hams Hall also struck on Wednesday of last week.

This follows two walkouts by workers at the Mini plants in Cowley in Oxford and Swindon last month.

The first coordinated strike at all four plants is set for Tuesday of next week.

The firm is making bumper profits, and has struggled to justify the attack through the “uncertainty” caused by Brexit. But its workers reject this excuse.

They are taking a stand against the onslaught on pension schemes across the private sector—and are determined to win.

David said, “This is just the start of industrial action.

“We intend to proceed with industrial action throughout the summer until we make BMW listen to our members and their conerns.”

Send messages of support at bit.ly/2pnFehI
sign the petition at bit.ly/2pWvJH0
Upcoming strike dates:
  • Tue 16 May—all four sites
  • Thu 18 May—all four sites
  • Sun 21 May—Cowley and Swindon
  • Wed 24 May—Goodwood and Hams Hall

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