Unions to Vote on Strike at MINI Plant Oxford

In a potential blow to 2017 plans, employees are to vote Friday on whether they should strike at MINI Plant Oxford due to a change in retirement benefits. The Guardian has this helpful guide to what’s at stake:

The Union said that BMW had refused to lift its threat to close the final salary pension plan by the end of May, when it plans to move to the less generous defined-contribution plans.

Mini plant oxford

Similar to how pensions worked for years in the US “defined benefit” or “final salary” pensions were the main way most people saved for retirement.

In “defined benefit” schemes you and your employer save and the retirement income you receive is based on your years on the job, the accrual rate, and salary.

It’s worth noting that many companies in the UK shave moved in this direction to cut costs and remain competitive. But that begs the question – should MINI follow them or continue to reward its highly valuable workforce?


    With the high price of mini one would think they could afford to pay the workers generously.

  • Chilly

    One could also say that the high price of said mini is due, in part, to such generous benefits. I would love to have a defined benefit pension scheme but it’s never going to happen.

    • darex

      With Brexit looming, they ought to swallow a wee bit of humble pie, or risk losing a lot more than just their pensions. Much of MINI production is already being done outside the UK, and the remainder could very well follow.

  • Nick Dawson

    On Friday, Plant Oxford workforce is being asked by their union to vote on whether to strike, in opposition to their employer’s proposals. The final salary pension plan scheme is unsustainable in the long term, and BMW is unlikely to back down.

    A large proportion of the workforce at Plant Oxford are economic migrants mostly from East Europe, who are well qualified and well regarded workers and who, nonetheless, are working in the UK for purely personal financial benefit.

    It is rather like asking turkeys to vote early for Christmas.

  • Roy Kenyon

    Mini boss says UK production not essential to brand


    • Nick Dawson

      Roy – Thank you for the link to this news item. Throughout the course of my working life, my employers sanctioned the expenditure of many thousands of pounds on my post graduate training, including two years of day release for an MBA. One of the most useful, however, was a short intensive course on how to handle the media.

      The course was run by a retired BBC executive who, upon entering the training room and before introducing himself said, “If you only remember one thing from this course, remember this – journalists are the most despicable and untrustworthy bunch of individuals you are ever likely to encounter. Their sole purpose in life is to sell news, and good news doesn’t sell newspapers”.

      Brexit negotiations with the EU haven’t even started, and yet here is a news article presenting what in reality is the worst case scenario, but conveniently omits to mention that.