UK - Unions are threatening industrial action at the chemical company Ineos over its decision to halve accrual rates in its final salary scheme.
The threat follows the company’s decision to move employees from six separate defined benefit plans into one final salary scheme, increase their contributions and slash the accrual rates from 1/40th to 1/80th.
The new arrangements will come into force from February 2005 and until then all employee’s accrued rights will be protected.
Trade union Amicus will seek talks with the privately-owned company after first holding a crisis meeting with members from each of its six divisions – Ineos Chlor, EVC, Ineos Silicas, Ineos Oxide, Ineos Fluor and Ineos Phenol – to coordinate action.
Amicus North West regional officer Debbie Brennan said that unless Ineos backed down, its members – who are already unhappy over job cuts – would take strike action.
She said: “The union’s policy is that we oppose changes to the pension scheme and we will support anybody who wants to take industrial action.
“There are a lot of industrial problems at all the Ineos sites, and this is the straw that has broken the camel’s back.
“People are proud of their pension scheme, it’s a very good one. That was what attracted people to the company and kept them there for years and years.”
However, an Ineos spokesman said: “Ineos, like many UK companies, has undertaken this pension review covering its UK businesses to provide scheme members with competitive pension benefits at an affordable cost to both the employees and the company.
“The changes will enable us to continue to offer a competitive total benefits package that is sustainable.”
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