BMW staff in the UK have voted to accept a new pensions offer following a series of strikes which hit the production of engines, Mini and Rolls-Royce cars.
Members of Unite at four sites backed the deal by 81.5%, the union said.
Staff based at Cowley, near Oxford; Swindon; Goodwood, near Chichester; and Hams Hall, in the West Midlands, had previously walked out over planned changes to their retirement arrangements that would have seen their pot linked to stock market performance rather than final salary.
The union claimed the changes could have left some workers’ retirement income £160,000 worse off while the company maintained it was “fair” and designed to ensure “competitiveness”.
Unite said the new deal meant its members would now move into one of the leading defined contribution pension schemes in the auto industry, which includes greater flexibility on the timings of transitional payments totalling £22,000 over three years.
National officer Fred Hanna said: “Unite members have overwhelmingly backed the revised pension offer, bringing this long-running dispute to an end.
“BMW initially thought it could railroad its pension changes through with transitional payments of just £7,000.
“It’s testament to the resolve of Unite members and their solidarity that the carmaker was forced to more than triple these payments and give additional guarantees.”
A BMW spokesman said: “We are pleased that the company’s offer has been accepted by the majority of Unite members who took part in the union ballot.
“This outcome follows lengthy negotiations between the company and employee representatives since September last year.
“It is now intended that employees currently in our defined benefit pension scheme will join the company’s defined contribution pension scheme from October 2017.
“The DC scheme, which has market-leading company contributions of up to 16%, was launched in early 2014 for new starters and already has more than 2,000 members across the UK.”
Source: Sky News