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BMW faces a New Year of unrest over employment rights and pensions

BMW faces a New Year of unrest over employment rights and pensions

Unite, Britain's biggest union, has warned car maker BMW that it could face industrial action in the new year unless it reverses plans to close its pension scheme to new starters and use legal loop-holes to deny agency staff equal pay.

BMW met with senior officials from Unite to inform them that they intended to close its final salary pension scheme to new starters and last week it declared its intention to exploit a legal loop hole called the 'Swedish derogation' to deny agency staff equal pay with employees after 12 weeks of employment.

Unite National Officer Roger Maddison said:

"BMW face a New Year of unrest unless the company reverses its plans to attack the pension scheme and erode the rights of agency workers by exploiting legal loopholes. Unite believes exploiting these loopholes to worsen the rights of agency workers is immoral."

"Yet again a wealthy company has jumped on the Coalition government's band wagon by attacking pensions and eroding employment rights.

"Unite led the way in convincing the last Labour Government that to improve employment rights for agency workers, we will not stand idly by and watch our members being short-changed because of a legal loophole."

Unite is planning to meet all shop stewards at BMW early in the new year to organise a campaign of resistance up to a including a ballot for industrial action if necessary.

An increasing number of employers are seeking to avoid the application of equal rights for agency workers by applying "the Swedish Derogation". This will allow employers, in conjunction with agency businesses, to avoid equal pay by directly employing the agency workers on contracts.

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