AWE reps to meet defence minister over pensions dispute

AWE reps to meet defence minister over pensions dispute

Prospect union representatives will meet defence procurement minister Harriet Baldwin tomorrow (Tuesday) to urge her to intervene to resolve an industrial dispute at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE).

AWE, Aldermaston, Berkshire

The dispute at the company that makes the UK’s nuclear deterrent is over the closure of the defined benefit pension scheme. In May 2016 the company formally consulted trade unions on its plans to close the scheme from 30 September 2016.

The implementation date was postponed as negotiations took place, but the company has consistently stated its intention to proceed with closure and has bee only prepared to discuss potential improvements to the replacement defined contribution pension scheme.

Prospect members voted overwhelmingly for industrial action in October 2016. A one-day strike followed in November and members have been working-to-rule since then.

The closure of the scheme, from 31 January 2017, was formally signed off by the company, the scheme trustees and the Ministry of Defence in December.

Pensions promise broken

Prospect negotiator Richard Tabbner said: “Members are angry about the closure of the defined benefit pension scheme because the promises that were made to them on privatisation have been broken.

“This is despite the fact that members agreed to significant increases in their contribution rate and even to breaking the link between their final salary and their pension.

“The depth of feeling was shown by the overwhelming ballot result and the unprecedented decision to strike.”

Tabbner added: “This is an issue for the minister because the Ministry of Defence promised our members their pensions were guaranteed and it is the MoD that can provide the funding to keep that promise and resolve this dispute.”

For further information contact:

Andrew Child
020 7902 6681 (w)
07770 304480 (m)
[email protected]