|Volume 50 Number 27, July 18, 2020||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBCENTRE||SUBSCRIBE|
On Saturday, July 11, hundreds of Nissan workers attended a march and rally organised by Unite at Nissan's Washington plant near Sunderland. The rally was in response to the firm's plans to close its defined benefits pension scheme.
The march and rally, the first held since the plant opened in 1984, was disciplined and organised with participants socially distanced and with masks. Workers gathered near the plant at around 11.30am and marched to the plant main gate for a rally. At the head of the march was a large red banner, "Nissan Don't Drive Off With Our Pension!". Also present was a banner "Stay Strong Barcelona" in reference to the Nissan plant in Spain which is threatened with closure.
Unite in a statement on their website announcing the rally said that these "were 'opportunistic' plans, which will affect around 1,800 staff, as well as its refusal to offer an industry standard lump sum usually provided when such schemes are closed". The union went on to say that "without 'substantial movement' by the company on the scheme's closure, which would result in staff losing tens of thousands of pounds from their pensions, there could be industrial action at Nissan in Sunderland for the first time".
Steve Turner, Unite Assistant General Secretary, addressing the rally outside Nissan said that the struggle is about pensioner dignity and addressing pensioner poverty. He urged the workers to fight for their pension scheme.
The attack on the Sunderland pension scheme comes as Nissan plans £2.3 billion of cuts worldwide. Workers are determined not to allow Nissan, in alliance with Renault, to utilise the Covid crisis as cover for its anti-worker, anti-social offensive against the workforce. The fight against Nissan's plan to axe the defined pension scheme is an important part of this battle.
For further information on the situation facing Nissan car workers read:
The Situation at the Nissan Car Plant