Car giant BMW told workers last week to sign off on losing their pension scheme or be fired and rehired on worse terms.
Bosses said they would “terminate” the contracts of 2,000 workers—around half its workforce—if they reject and call strikes against its latest offer.
Unite union members began voting last Monday in a ballot set to end on Friday.
They have already struck against BMW group’s proposals, then last month voted to reject an offer. But instead of calling new strikes, Unite sat on its hands.
The new offer is little different from the initial proposals that Unite called “shameful”.
BMW’s blackmail should be a call to arms for the trade union movement.
Instead, Unite managed only to say it was “unable to recommend” the offer, but that it was the “best that can be achieved”.
BMW is a hugely profitable and cash-rich corporation—and workers have shown they can fight back.
But their union leaders have risked demoralising workers.
It’s right to reject the offer and push for more action.
One worker said, “We did not know the company could do this. We have been shafted. The union have kind of let us down the last couple of weeks.
“It’s really disappointing.”