Staff at AstraZeneca prepare to strike over pension cuts

Employees at one of AstraZeneca’s largest factory plants have voted for strike action as it presses ahead with plans to freeze final salary pension benefits.

Members of the GMB union at the firm Macclesfield site decided to support industrial action after it emerged the firm was planning to end its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme for 2,500 employees.

Discussions on the changes took place between the union and AstraZeneca over a three-month period earlier this year but pharmaceutical giant stuck to its original stance.

Allen Black, GMB national officer, said: “This clear mandate for a strike in the midst of the current economic circumstances ought to be a wake up call to AstraZeneca top resume negotiations with GMB.”

A statement from AstraZeneca read:  ”We are currently reviewing the information provided by GMB union resulting from the ballot. 

“AstraZeneca remains committed to providing a very competitive level of pension benefit and the changes made ensure all employees continue to have access to pension arrangements that compare favourably to other organisations in the UK.  It is our firm belief that strike action would not be in anyone’s best interests.”

For more articles on final salary pensions