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Unite, Britain's biggest union, has given Ford UK notice of its intention to hold a ballot for industrial action over pensions

The ballot raises the possibility of the first strike at the company since the 1970s. The union is furious that the company wants to close the final salary pension scheme to new starters as well as lower their rates of pay.

The union has been attempting to reach a deal on behalf of 2,500 Ford UK staff for months, but Ford UK is still insisting on closing the final salary scheme to new starters.The union believes this is the 'thin end of the wedge' and will lead to the ultimate closure of the company's final salary pension scheme for Ford staff.

Ford is also proposing to introduce lower rates of pay for new entrants creating a two tier workforce. Ford wants to introduce new rates of pay which are 10 per cent less than the pay of existing staff doing the same work, with no mechanism for progression.

Unite national officer Roger Maddison said: "Ford faces the very real prospect of the first strike since the 1970s. Unite will not stand by and allow Ford to create a two tier workforce on pay and pensions. We urge Ford to return to the negotiating table if it wants to avoid this dispute.
"We fiercely oppose the closure of Ford's final salary scheme to new entrants. This is the thin end of the wedge. Ultimately we believe Ford will try to close the entire scheme.
"To make matters worse the company is trying to create a two tier workforce by making new starters work for 10 per cent less money for doing the same job as existing staff. This is totally unacceptable."

Written by Scott Buckler
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:10

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