Unions accept Unilever pension deal

UnileverThe deadlock over a long-running dispute about plans by multi-national giant Unilever to close its final salary pension scheme has been broken after unions accepted the change.

Members of Unite and Usdaw have voted to accept a revised scheme, which the unions said had been "significantly improved" after months of conflict, including strikes.
The GMB is still balloting its members at Unilever.

Unite's national officer Jennie Formby said: "Unite members voted by two to one to accept the revised pension scheme. We were of course disappointed that we were unable to retain the final salary scheme but we were pleased that as a result of our fightback we were able to secure some significant improvements to the CARE (defined benefits) scheme proposed by the company.

"In addition, we got a guarantee that there would be no further change before 2018 and agreement that after that date, no further announcements of change would be made before there is full consultation with the trade unions."

David Johnson, national officer of Usdaw, said: "While we have achieved some important improvements to the replacement scheme, our members remain angry and bitterly disappointed by Unilever's decision to close the final salary pension scheme."

The row flared almost a year ago when Unilever announced it was planning to close its final salary pension scheme and replace it with a career average scheme.

Unions said some workers would lose up to 40% of their projected retirement income and held a series of strikes at the end of last year and in January.
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