Strike likely as Siemens staff opt to walk out over plans to ditch final salary pension scheme

Thousands of UK employees at electronics firm Siemens could go on strike, after members of union Unite voted overwhelmingly for industrial action over plans to close its final salary pension scheme.

Up to 6,000 staff at Siemens would be affected by proposals to close existing final salary scheme and replace it with a defined benefit plan from January 2008.

Sites potentially affected include Tyneside, Sheffield, Poole, Hove, Hayes, Preston, Southampton, Norwich, Avonmouth, Belfast and Scotland.

Peter Skyte, national officer at Unite, said: “Siemens is a highly profitable company that can well afford to continue the final salary pension arrangements. The closing of the final salary scheme will cost its hard-working members many thousands of pounds in retirement and will transfer the risk in providing pensions from one of the world’s largest blue-chip companies to individual employees.

“This is not only an attack on thousands of Siemens employees, but on the state, which will have to bear the burden of people retiring without adequate pension provision,” Skyte added.

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