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Ford workers in Warley set to go on strike
4:01pm Friday 15th June 2012 in News
WORKERS at one of the biggest employers in the borough are set to walk out for 24 hours in a protest over pensions and pay.
Staff at the Ford of Britain HQ, in Eagle Way, Warley, plan to join a national strike on Monday.
A statement released by the Unite union, which represents the workers, said staff are “furious” the company wants to close the final salary pension scheme to new starters and lower their rates of pay.
Out of a 100 per cent turnout, 67 per cent voted in favour of strike action on May 22, but the union agreed to postpone announcing the ballot result to the public to allow further negotiations with the company to take place.
However, after a series of meetings, the dispute has not been solved.
Roger Maddison, Unite national officer, said: “Our staff members will not stand by and allow Ford to create a two tier workforce on pay and pensions.
“To date Ford has failed to make any genuine attempts to resolve this dispute. Unless there is a last minute change of heart from the company, Ford faces a national strike this Monday.
“We fiercely oppose the closure of Ford’s final salary scheme to new entrants because we believe ultimately Ford will try to close the entire scheme.
“The company is also refusing to back away from creating a two tier workforce by making new starters work for less money for doing the same job as existing staff. This is totally unacceptable.”
Brian Bennett, Ford’s corporate affairs manager, said: “The issue giving rise to the industrial action relates to a disagreement between the company and a particular group of its employees in relation to their ongoing pay and benefit negotiations.
“Ford remains willing and available to continue discussions with the union representing these workers. The vast majority of the company’s employees are not involved in this disagreement, or the decision to take industrial action.”
Workers were also set to walk out at the nearby design and technical centre, in Dunton, near Basildon.