Friday, 12 November 2010

Bite-sized strikes over Macclesfield pensions freeze

Workers at the Macclesfield factory of the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca are on strike today (Friday) over changes to their pension scheme.
The dispute involves the GMB union which represents 250 of the company’s several thousand UK workers.
Today is the eighth day of strike action and involves three two-hour walkouts. The next strike is on Tuesday November 16 and will follow the same format.
GMB members are stopping work from 5am to 7am, 10am to noon, and 4pm to 6pm.
They are also refusing to work overtime.
The workers voted 70 percent for strike action in a ballot earlier this year.
They will be picketing the factory at the Hurdsfield Industrial Estate, Queens Avenue. Macclesfield.
Unions agreed in 2000 to close the company’s final salary pension scheme to new recruits.
Now the multinational is attempting to push members of the final salary scheme to choose between continuing making contributions, but with their pensionable salary frozen at current levels, or transfering to worse scheme.
The Cheshire plant is AstraZeneca’s second largest facility worldwide. Workers there produce the anti-cancer drug Zoladex.
Unite is also a recognised union at AstraZeneca.
Report from Macclesfield Express

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