AstraZeneca staff in pensions strike

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Workers at the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca will stage a series of strikes next month in a row over pensions.

The GMB union said members at the company's site in Macclesfield, Cheshire, would walk out for three two-hour strikes on 8 September, three four-hour strikes on 15 September and a 24-hour strike starting at 6am on 22 September.

The move follows a vote in favour of industrial action over pension changes affecting about 2,500 staff which the GMB described as "draconian".

"The last thing our members want to do is to take strike action at AstraZeneca but the attack by the company on the pension entitlement of our members leaves them with no choice," said the union's national officer, Allan Black.

"The strike action follows a ballot... in the light of this highly profitable pharmaceutical company's decision to make savage cuts in its employees' defined benefit pension scheme."