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United Utilities workers to strike for 2 days over pensions

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Tuesday 13 Mar 2018

LONDON (ShareCast) - (ShareCast News) - United Utilities workers in the north west of England will strike for two days in a pensions' dispute which could see them thousands of pounds worse off in retirement, the Unite union said on Tuesday.
Unite said 1,000 of its members would walk out on next Friday and Monday over the closure of their final salary pension scheme next month.

There would also be an overtime ban, no call outs and suspension of United's advice service mainly for local authorities between 16-23 March inclusive.

Unite said it was calling for the pension changes to be reversed after the company reported net profits of 650m last year.

Unite regional officer Graham Williams said: "On any scale United Utilities is a highly profitable company - all we are asking for our members is a pension arrangement in line with the 21st century. That's not unreasonable and the company can afford it."

"If this dispute escalates it will be the domestic and corporate consumer who will be hit as the maintenance of the system slowly erodes and this will hit United Utilities where it hurts - in the wallet as consumer dissatisfaction mounts."

United is ditching the final salary fund for a hybrid scheme where the first 20,000 of salary is subject to the final salary provisions and any sum above that will be a defined contribution element, the union said.