UK - Scheme members at Anglian Water will "almost certainly" strike over plans to remove outsourced workers from the final salary plan, unions believe.
Unions say the water company has reneged on a pledge to allow workers to stay in the DB scheme, even if they are outsourced to other companies.
A ballot of the scheme’s 4200 members will conclude next Monday.
The action – which is backed by Amicus, the GMB, the Transport and General Workers’ Union and Unison – could see strikes commence as early as March 29, giving the company one week from the closure of the ballot to reverse its decision.Anglian announced in January it would eject outsourced staff from the £500m final salary Anglian Water Group Pension Scheme in the next six months and transfer them to a defined contribution plan.
This coincides with plans by the firm – the largest water company in England and Wales – to increase its outsourced staff by about 1000 in the next three years.
Amicus regional officer Owen Granfield said: “This company promised staff in 2002 that even if employees were outsourced, their new employer would be required to continue to make payments into the existing Anglian Water scheme.
“But then, without any consultation with unions or staff, it announced that these people would be transferred out of the final salary scheme and into a vastly inferior money purchase arrangement. It is unacceptable and we are confident of strike action being approved.”
Anglian, which closed the final salary scheme to new entrants in March 2002 when it was 110% funded, stands by its plans.
A spokesman said: “It is still an extremely good package. It goes beyond our legal requirements to offer outsourced staff a final salary option.”
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