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Workers at Gaydon-based Aston Martin consider strike action over pensions



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LUXURY car manufacturer Aston Martin is facing the threat of strike action amid changes to its pension scheme, a move which Unite says "robs our members of tens of thousands of pounds".

Aston Martin is facing strike action over changes to its pension scheme.
Aston Martin is facing strike action over changes to its pension scheme.

Members of the union held a consultative ballot to hold a full-scale industrial ballot in the new year to protect their pension plans.

Aston Martin's proposals will see staff who are on its current defined benefit scheme move to a defined contribution scheme from the end of January, something which is used by the majority of its workforce and new employees.

Staff at the firm's head office in Gaydon as well as its bases in Wellesbourne, Milton Keynes, Newport Pagnell and St Athan took part in the strike ballot, which is due to close on Friday.

Unite requested this deadline to be extended, but said the manufacturer declined that request.

Unite's general secretary Sharon Graham said: "We will back our members at Aston Martin 100 per cent if they decide to take industrial action to defend their pensions and defeat this threat to their retirement incomes.

"These workers have done as asked and saved for their retirement, but they have also worked hard to deliver improved profits for Aston Martin.

"There is, therefore, no case to be made for closing the defined benefit pension schemes, a move that robs our members of tens of thousands of pounds.

"Aston Martin's whole workforce is now aware of the gross inadequacy of the existing defined contribution scheme by comparison and this will be a significant factor when we put forward our claim in the 2022 pay review."

Aston Martin said in a statement: "As a responsible employer, Aston Martin has a duty to deliver financially sustainable pension arrangements for its circa 2,000 employees while managing its pension risks and underlying costs.

"Having completed a detailed review of its future pension arrangements and, in line with many other UK employers, it is proposing changes to its defined benefit scheme affecting circa 400 employees.

"Should these changes occur, Aston Martin has outlined an attractive transition arrangement - including a one-off cash payment and equity in the company.

"This is in addition to supporting the defined benefit pension scheme to meet the cost of pension benefits already earned.

"Aston Martin remains in direct communication with the affected employees and their representatives regarding these changes and is unable to comment further at this time."



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