Members of the Unite union have carried out a series of strikes at AWE due to the company’s decision to end a defined benefit pension scheme. The strike action began in November last year with two 24 hour strikes after members voted 92% in favour of industrial action.
The union, which has 600 members working at AWE, held two 48 hour strikes in January and announced a further series of 24 hour strikes in March that are due to run until May. In January members of the Prospect union who had also been in dispute voted to accept a deal which increased AWE’s contribution to pensions from 9% to 13%, but did not return the scheme to a definted benefit system.
Unite claim that when AWE was privatised in the 1990s ministers promised that workers' pensions would not be changed.
In a statement AWE said it had made contingency plans and had measures in place to ensure staff and the general public remained safe during the strikes.