Water workers to strike

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Water workers in Burnley employed by United Utilities will take strike action in protest at proposed changes to pension plans.

The 27 hour strike, which begins at 5am on Friday and runs until 8am on Saturday is the latest in a long running dispute over the company’s proposals to save money by introducing unilateral changes to the defined benefit pension scheme.

A picket line will be held at the waste water treatment works at Woodend, off Barden Lane, Burnley.

Last month the GMB union announced that it was going ahead with a formal official strike ballot to ensure that the company gives an undertaking to make no changes to the scheme without negotiations.

The ballot closed on January 26th with 82.1% of members voting to take part in industrial action.

Eddie Parker, GMB regional officer, said “GMB would like to stress that we are in dispute with the managers and shareholders of UU and not the customers.

“GMB has agreed an escalation process should there be a major incident such as the recent Cumbrian floods or other emergencies impacting on the life and limb of customers during the course of industrial action.

“GMB understand the gravity of the current situation and will continue to make ourselves available in an effort to avoid strike action should the company wish to approach us with a view to talks on an acceptable solution.”