Strike threat over Cemex pensions

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CEMEX workers in Rugby are to consider strike action over their pensions.

Union Unite is to asking staff if they want to be balloted.

National officer John Allott said: “We understand that the status quo is not an option but the company are refusing to negotiate with the union to achieve decent pensions for all its employees.

“We hope that the company will now get round the table and negotiate in good faith.”

The union is challenging the company over its two pension schemes.

It is fighting the decision to close the ‘defined benefit’ (DB) pension scheme to existing members, and is challenging the company over its ‘defined contribution’ (DC) scheme which was opened to new starters about five years ago.

The union believes that the scheme provides inadequate benefits to workers and that two of Cemex’s main competitors provide their workers with a better DC scheme.

The company has been invited, in the union’s words, “to enter into negotiations intended to address both issues and achieve an outcome which would provide decent pensions for all Cemex employees”.

Unite officials say to date the company has refused to enter into serious discussions.

But Ian Southcott, UK Community Affairs Manager at Cemex, maintains that the firm is consulting the union and staff.

He said: “We can confirm we have entered into consultation with our employees and recognised unions about a proposal to close our defined benefit pension schemes to future accrual for active members.

“There are ongoing consultations with affected employees and Unite, and all feedback will be evaluated before any final decisions are made.”