Unite has announced further strike action over Unilevers changes to its pension scheme

Unite has announced further strike action over Unilever's changes to its pension scheme

Unilever workers in the UK will down tools over 11 days in their latest protest over changes to the company's final salary pension scheme.

The Unite union today (16 January) announced that strike action will take place across the company's UK sites from Wednesday morning until midnight on Saturday 28 January. Dates for a second round of industrial action will soon be announced.

The union claims the stoppages will hit production of products such as Marmite, Flora, Hellmann's mayonnaise and Pot Noodle.

A statement said workers are "furious" that the company is closing their final salary pension and replacing it with another scheme. They argue the plans would see some employees lose up to 40% of their expected pension and believe Unilever has no justification for replacing the scheme.

Unite national officer Jennie Formby said: "We have repeatedly called upon this company to talk to us about a sensible solution to this dispute. It is deeply regrettable that Unilever refuses to even sit with us at Acas [an employment mediator]. It confirms the company is not interested in a common solution and it gives the workforce no other option but to withdraw their labour.

"Last December these workers took the first ever strike action in Unilever's UK history. Instead of seeing that for the profound expression of frustration that is was, Unilever spitefully cancelled the workers' Christmas celebrations.

"A second round of strikes will soon begin right across the business sending a clear message to management that this workforce will not be bullied or cowed."

Unilever said the changes are a "tough but necessary" because of rising life expectancy and market volatility

A statement said: "The reality is that the union representatives had multiple opportunities to help shape the greatly improved final outcome of consultation we reached in October, but unfortunately they decided to walk away from talks."

A spokesperson added that supply will not be disrupted as the company has had time to prepare for the industrial action.