• May 26, 2024

UK workers ‘furious’

 UK workers ‘furious’

Gallaher’s UK tobacco workers are ‘furious’ over its parent company’s plans to close its final salary defined benefit scheme to future accrual, according to a story by Natalie Tuck for the UK’s Pensions Age Magazine.

According to the union Unite, Japan Tobacco International plans to close the UK scheme at the end of December and move workers into a defined contribution scheme.

Unite has accused JTI of ‘blatant opportunism’ over the scheme’s closure, which follows the relocation of the company’s manufacturing operation in Northern Ireland to Poland with the loss of 800 jobs.

The union said that there was still a 700-strong workforce in the UK of which 177 were in the final pension scheme.

Unite has members at the company’s UK headquarters in Weybridge, Surrey, and at a distribution centre in Crewe.

Unite is due to meet UK bosses at Weybridge on October 12, when it will be asking for a boost to the pensions of the employees.

It pointed out that JTI had profits of £4 billion in 2016 and paid out £1.6 billion to shareholders.

“JTI can confirm that Gallaher Limited is, regrettably, proposing to close its defined benefit pension schemes to future accrual as of 31st December 2017,” a JTI spokesperson was quoted as saying.

“The company has entered into a period of consultation with trade union and other employee representatives about the proposals, which remain subject to such consultation.

“The company does not intend to make any further comment on this matter whilst the consultation process is ongoing.”