Some 5,500 members of the GMB union working as British Gas engineers are balloting for strikes in the run-up to Christmas over the company’s intention to close the final salary pension scheme of parent company Centrica to new starters from April next year.
An unofficial consultative ballot has shown that this highly skilled workforce is opposed to the company’s plans to disadvantage future workers, and that there is a wish to take action to protect their new colleagues’ pension rights.
The GMB expects that the next valuation will show the scheme to be virtually fully funded and completely viable. Only two years ago Centrica employees and management agreed to increase employee contributions by 1 percent in order to keep the scheme open.
The 74 BP tanker drivers whose pension rights were at the centre of a dispute with oil giant BP have won a new final salary pension scheme.
They had a final salary scheme with their previous employer, Exel, and will now join the BP Gas final salary plan rather than have a money purchase scheme. The company made the concession to the T&G union after the drivers workers voted for strike action.