Automotive companies embroiled in long week of pay negotiations

Posted on 27 Apr 2012

Unite union representatives of staff at both BMW Mini and Ford UK are to recommend pay increase to the companies' workforce following extensive negotiations this week.

Earlier this week Unite gave Ford of Britain a warning, indicating a large proportion – 2,500 employees – of its workforce would conduct industrial action over pay and pensions if their demands weren’t met.

Unite is fighting attempts by Ford to close its final salary scheme to new starters – it is concerned that the company is ultimately aiming to close the scheme completely.

After lengthy discussions between Unite representatives of BMW Mini staff located in Oxford and senior members of staff at the company, a deal appears to have been reached between the two groups. Unite is to recommend the workforce accepts the offer today; The company has now offered a two year deal of 4.5% in 2012 and 2.3% in 2013. The ballot is to take place on May 1 with the final count being held on the following Tuesday.

Unite national officer, Roger Maddison said: “We believe the offer recognises the contribution the workers at Oxford make to the continued success of BMW Mini.”

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke talked of the importance of the UK automotive industry to the continued health of the economy and said:  “The skilled and dedicated UK workforce has made the industry a success story. Their skills and dedication needs to be recognised fairly.”