UK - Members of the GMB, one of the unions behind last week's industrial action at chemical giant Rhodia, are scheduling further strike dates for August and September.
Details were not offered.
A GMB spokeswoman said that the union was waiting to hear from Rhodia officials following the earlier course of action and hoped to “solve the matter through negotiation.”
Rhodia workers held strikes last Friday over the closure of their final salary scheme to new members.
More than 600 workers, who are members of the GMB and Amicus unions, forced halts in production at key Rhodia plants at Oldbury and Widnes after a breakdown in talks between the unions and the French-owned company.
Unions believe this will be the first time British industrial workers have walked out to defend a pension scheme which is being closed to new members.
They claim that halting inflows from new entrants could risk the long-term viability of the fund, which currently has a deficit of £84m.
GMB general secretary Kevin Curran said: “GMB members know that closing the scheme to new entrants puts the long-term viability of the scheme at risk.
“Their security in retirement is being put in jeopardy by the decisions being made by the company now.”
But Rhodia claims that closing the scheme to new entrants is actually in the interests of current members.
Rhodia HR director Bob Tyler said: “We are closing the final salary scheme to new members to protect the interests and benefits of current Rhodia employees and ensure the future security of the fund.
“The unions are resolved to continue this dispute over an issue that does not affect the pension provision of current employees in any way.”
The GMB said it would consider settling for an increase in members’ contributions to keep the scheme open for everyone.
Rhodia is adamant the scheme must be closed to new members.
A spokeswoman for Rhodia refuted union claims that employer contributions had been cut from 18% to 14% over the past three years.
She said employer contributions had, in fact, increased from an average of 25% of pensionable salary to 31% in January this year.
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