Monday, June 18th, Ford’s employees in England staged a 24-hour strike against the proposal for pay and pension cuts for new hires.
Although the company declared that the employees agreed to this package that includes new hire rates and changes to defined benefit pensions, the workers went on strike on Monday at seven Ford locations in Dunton, Warley, Dagenham, Bridgend, Southampton, Daventry and Halewood.
Ford believes “its existing final salary pension provisions stand comparison with the best pension arrangements in the U.K. private sector,” said Ford spokesman Brian Bennett.
Ford already confronts with a $15.4 billion gap in its global pension funding, and so this plan is part of its effort to close its global pension funding gap and begin to turn into profit in Europe. Last month GM declared it plans to buy out the pensions of 98,000 American former white-collar workers and salaried retirees beginning this August.
A similar situation was seen when GM announced a similar plan for 42,000 U.S. salaried workers, retired between October 1st, 1997 and December 1st, 2011. The General Motors Retirees Association protested against this decision declaring that this would move other retirees to an annuity program, which is controlled by Prudential Insurance Co. of America.
“Ford remains willing and available to continue discussions with the union representing these workers,” Bennett said.”The vast majority of the company’s employees are not involved in this disagreement, or the decision to take industrial action.”