Strike vote looms in Rolls pensions row

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The Independent Online

Rolls-Royce is facing crunch time this week over plans to cut staff pension benefits, with unions and MPs raising the pressure on the engineering group to rethink.

A group of 27 MPs that represent the constituencies where Rollshas major operations is meeting the company tomorrow to see if a compromise can be made.

Amicus, the union representing 18,000 Rolls workers and spearheading the fight to save staff pension rights, will demonstrate in London at the same time.

It wants to draw attention to the concerns of workers who are being asked to pay higher contributions and accept benefits up to 20 per cent lower from the Rolls scheme, which has a £1.1bn deficit.

The union will meet Rolls on Thursday to seek a solution to the pension funding problem. If no progress is made, the union will initiate a ballot to begin strike action. A spokesman for the union said Rolls "was a million miles away from the union" and that he thought a strike ballot was inevitable.

Rolls has said the revised pension scheme was still "very competitive" and has promised to increase its contributions to £90m for five years.