(Adds BMW response)
LONDON, March 31 British workers at BMW's
Mini and Rolls-Royce car plants have backed strike
action over plans by the German automaker to close the firm's
final salary pensions, Britain's biggest trade union said on
The firm wants to close its two final salary pension schemes
from June and move all staff to a less generous scheme which new
starters have been part of since 2014.
A total of 93 percent of employees who are members of the
Unite union and voted in the ballot backed striking and
representatives said they would now discuss possible walkout
dates involving up to 3,500 workers at four sites.
"BMW needs to reflect on this extraordinary vote in favour
of industrial action and the real possibility that its UK
workforce will strike for the first time under its ownership in
the coming weeks," Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said.
In Britain, the carmaker builds over 210,000 Minis a year at
its central England plant in Oxford, nearly 4,000 luxury
Rolls-Royce models at Goodwood in the south and around 200,000
engines at Hams Hall near Birmingham.
The firm said on Friday it wanted to act now to secure the
long-term viability of its pensions and remained open to further
"The company has had a number of planned meetings on the
proposed changes since the start of the consultation process in
September last year, and while it is disappointed by the result
of the ballot it remains open to negotiation," a spokeswoman
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)