BMW workers are set to be balloted for strike action over a pensions row

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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Union members are being balloted over what they call "pensions robbery" (Source: Getty)

Workers at BMW's Mini and Rolls-Royce car plants are being balloted for strike action once again over plans to close the firm's UK final salary pension scheme.

The German carmaker wants to close two final salary schemes and consolidate all staff to a less generous provision that new starters have been on since 2014.

The dispute began in November, when workers backed strike action in a consultative ballot. Just last month BMW bosses met with Unite union representatives in a bid to avoid industrial action.

BMW creates more than 200,000 Minis a year at its Oxford plant, and walkouts would be another headache for the embattled UK car industry.

Read more: Prime Minister Theresa May to meet Peugeot boss to discuss Vauxhall deal

Unite has described the closure of the final salary pension scheme as "pensions robbery".

"BMW bosses would do well to heed the growing sense of betrayal over their broken pension promises, which have already seen 96 per cent of workers saying they would take industrial action in a consultative ballot," Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said in a statement.

Taking part in the ballot are around 4,500 Unite members workers who are part of the BMW occupational pension scheme at five British sites. The vote due to close 31 March.

Read more: BMW bosses meet for crunch talks with union reps to avoid strike chaos

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