Unilever and unions to talk over pension row

By Dan Colombini

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pension, Retirement, Unilever

Workers at the Marmite maker have already staged walkouts across the country
Workers at the Marmite maker have already staged walkouts across the country
The row over changes to the pension scheme at Marmite manufacturer Unilever has taken a step closer to reconciliation today (February 3) after the Anglo-Dutch consumer giant agreed to resume talks with the unions.

Unite the Union confirmed that Unilever had agreed to engage in talks with itself, Usdaw and GMB, through the advisory, conciliation and arbitration service Acas. But it stressed that it was still “very early days​”.

Unite has welcomed the decision, which comes less than a week after workers at Unilever completed 11 days of strikes, held at 12 sites across the country.

The walkouts were a result of Unilever’s decision to scrap its final salary pension scheme, which Unite claims will cut the retirement income of its staff by up to 40%.

Possible resolution

A spokesperson for Unite said: “We welcome the fact that Unilever has at last recognised its responsibility to talk to us about a possible resolution to the dispute.

“We hope the agreement to talk through Acas is a genuine indication of a willingness to engage meaningfully in an effort to find a solution. However, it is very early days and the dispute will continue until proposals have been put forward that are acceptable to our members​.”

Two days ago, Unite national officer, Jenny Formby said that staff at the firm were as “defiant as ever​” and warned that unless Unilever sat down and listened to their demands, “it would have another strike on its hands​”.

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