Industrial action continues at AstraZeneca

Posted on 22 Sep 2010 by The Manufacturer

Workers at pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca’s site in Macclesfield will strike for the third time in a month tomorrow over a row about pensions.

The 500 members of the GMB Union at the site – which employs over 3,000 people in total – have already staged workouts on September 8 and 15. The dispute relates to a decision the Anglo-Dutch firm made after consultations with staff to move existing members of its defined benefit pension scheme over to a define contribution scheme.

Workers will strike over three four hour periods tomorrow, affecting all three of the plant’s shifts.

Allan Black GMB National Officer said: “It has been necessary for the members to take this third day of strike action as the company have made no attempt to negotiate or even discuss the matter with GMB,” said the union’s national officer Allan Black.

“This hugely profitable company is attacking GMB members’ pensions while its Chief Executive, David Brennan, has reached third in the UK league of the top boss’s pension entitlements. When he retires based on today’s figures, Mr Brennan will enjoy a pension of more than £17,500 per week.

“GMB members are going on strike because of the decision to freeze their pensionable pay. It is another case of boardroom greed and a culture which is summed up by ‘do as I say not as I do’. GMB again urge the company to return to the negotiation table with to resolve this issue.”

AstraZeneca reports a £1.4bn deficit in its pension fund.