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BMW workers accept revised pension deal

BMW workers at the Cowley plant Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Workers at the Cowley plant, where BMW makes Minis, had been on strike

BMW workers in the UK have accepted a revised offer over the closure of their final salary pension scheme, ending the threat of further strikes.

The agreement follows a series of stoppages at plants making the Mini and Rolls Royce cars.

More than 80% of members of the Unite union approved the deal which affects workers at four sites.

The union said it had won a much bigger transitional payment for staff, plus other guarantees.

The dispute centred on plans to move workers to a new contribution-based pension scheme, which Unite warned could cost workers up to £160,000 in lost income.

There were four walkouts involving workers at plants in Cowley; Goodwood, near Chichester; Hams Hall in the West Midlands; and Swindon.

Last month, Unite threatened more strikes after a previous offer was rejected.

BMW had initially offered workers transitional payments worth £7,000 in an effort to solve the dispute, but under the revised offer, this will be increased to up to £25,000.

Unite national officer Fred Hanna said: "It's testament to the resolve of Unite members and their solidarity that the carmaker was forced to more than triple these payments and give additional guarantees."

BMW said its employees would join a defined contribution scheme from October 2017 which has a company contribution of up to 16%.

A spokesman said: "We believe that our pension proposals are fair and will help to ensure our competitiveness as a business, which is ultimately in the long-term interest of all our employees."

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