UK - Hundreds of workers at chemical firm Rhodia have vowed to continue strike action over the closure of their final salary scheme to new members.
Over 600 workers at Rhodia’s depots in Widnes and Oldbury have decided to hold further strikes on August 15-17 and September 5 after negotiations with bosses broke down.
Amicus joint general secretary Roger Lyons said: “It is regrettable that the company has failed to shift its position at all.
“Workers have not rushed in to their decision to strike but have exhausted all other options.
“They recognise that the closure of their pension scheme threatens the benefits of new employees coming into the company and is a nail in the coffin for their final salary scheme in the longer-term.”
GMB general secretary Kevin Curran added: “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 said it was paying contribution rates of 31% of salary just to cover the promises made to today’s employees and to continue accepting open-ended pension liabilities for new workers could put the future of the company at risk.
Rhodia workers took action on July 18 – the first time that members of Amicus and the GMB have walked out to protect pensions for future employees.
Previous strike threats at BAe Systems and Rolls Royce forced the companies to back down over proposed benefit reductions.
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