UK/Global - Employees at AstraZeneca will strike on three dates in September in a row over cuts to its UK pension scheme, GMB says.
The trade union said a "savage attack" by the global pharmaceutical company on its £3.1bn ($4.7bn) pension scheme left it with no choice but to stage walk outs on 8, 15 and 22 September.
Shift workers will conduct three two-hour strikes on 8 September; three four-hour strikes on 15 September; and one day or shift of strike action between 6am and 6am the next day on 22/23 September.
GMB has said the decision to strike is over AstraZeneca's "draconian" proposals to, as of 1 July this year, not consider pay rises as pensionable salary for 2,500 staff based mainly in Macclesfield.
GMB national officer Allan Black said: "GMB is enormously proud of the overwhelming vote by members on this pension issue. We are also buoyed up by the messages of support from our sister unions across Europe and across the world.
"The last thing our members want to do is to take strike action at AstraZeneca but the attack by the company on the pension entitlement of our members leaves them with no choice."
However, AstraZeneca has said its £1.4bn deficit is unsustainable.
A statement from AstraZeneca said: "It is our firm belief that industrial action would not be in anyone's best interests. We are very disappointed that the GMB union has chosen to pursue strike action, based on only 165 of its 469 members in the AstraZeneca UK workforce voting for a strike. AstraZeneca employs approximately 9,000 people in the UK.
"AstraZeneca remains committed to providing a very competitive level of pension benefit, and the changes made ensure all employees continue to have access to pension arrangements that compare favourably to other organisations in the UK."
The announcement comes after GMB revealed 70% of its members who voted in the ballot supported strike action at AstraZeneca.
GMB said further action will be announced in due course.
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