Capita Staff Plans Nine-day Strike over Pension Changes

Company “surprised and disappointed” with union’s rejection.

After failed discussions with Capita over changes to its defined benefit pension plan, staff represented by British trade union Unite have decided to strike for nine days at the end of the month.

According to Reuters, Capita said it put forward a “material improvement” to what it had offered workers still included in the defined benefit scheme, which was rejected by the trade union. Plan members voted to strike last month, despite cancelling an earlier strike during last-minute discussions with the company.

Capita was reportedly “surprised and disappointed” with the union’s rejection of the offer without consulting its members, saying that the action will result in the company reverting to its previous offer to the plan, as it is unable to continue working with the improved offer.

In June, the company informed staff it planned to close its defined benefit plan and transfer staff into a defined contribution plan, prompting the union to claim that the offer would result in a “massive cut” in retirement money for its 2,920 members, roughly 4% of Capita’s 73,000 workers.

“Capita’s pension proposals will have far-reaching consequences for the retirement of many Unite members,” Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, said in a statement. “Some staff will lose a shocking 70% of their retirement income.” 

This is just weeks after UK parcel delivery company Royal Mail saw its workers vote in favor of a strike for similar reasons.

The strike is scheduled to take place from October 28 to November 5.

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