Ford UK face first strike ballot since the 70’s

Posted on 9 Nov 2011 by The Manufacturer

Unite, Britain's biggest union, has walked out of negotiations with Ford UK after the company insisted on closing its pension scheme to new employees.

The union, which represents 2,500 Ford staff, today told The Manufacturer that they are “calling upon Ford management to restart negotiations with an open mind.”

In an interview with TM’s reporter Shelley DeBere, Ciaran Naidoo of Unite said: “As a trade union we will always defend our members and of course, their pensions are very important to them. Cuts like this are normally done to make savings but we find this decision by Ford unacceptable.”

“We entered into discussion with them today, but walked out of the meeting when they simple refused to consider their decision,” she added.

“The next stage for us is to get round the table again and discuss. We have warned the company that they could face a strike ballot.”

The union believes this is the thin end of the wedge, and will lead to the ultimate closure of the company’s staff final salary pension scheme.

Around 80% of private sector firms have closed their final-salary schemes to new hires over the last few years.

The breakdown in talks with Unite follows Ford’s hourly paid staff who rejected a similar offer yesterday.

Shelley DeBere