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Barclays staff may strike over final salary row

Barclays staff may strike against their employer in September after the bank decided to close its final salary pension scheme.

Unite, the trade union, says Barclays members are “incensed” at the pension proposals which would result in the total closure of the Barclays’ pension scheme. It says in a consultative ballot, 92 per cent of staff wanted to be balloted by Unite on industrial action.

Barclays revealed last month that it was to shut the final salary scheme to existing members, affecting 17,000 staff.

The union will hold the ballot in August, with potential strike action taking place across the bank in September.

Unite joint general secretary Derek Simpson says: “It is unacceptable that Barclays is proposing this unilateral change to workers’ pensions. Unite members will not stand by as their employer rides roughshod over their retirement security.

“The long-serving and dedicated workforce views this pension proposal as a betrayal by their employer. The forthcoming ballot within Barclays will send a strong message to private sector employers across the economy.”

Unite says it has proposed viable alternatives to Barclays in order to make the cost savings the company but says the company has failed to engage with the union on the suggestions.

Barclays says it regrets that Unite has signalled its intention to ballot for strike action.

A spokesman says: “It is our firm belief that the interests of all stakeholders are best served through continued open dialogue. We are therefore disappointed that Unite have chosen not to re-engage having previously walked away from discussions.

“Barclays stands by the security of pension benefits already built up by employees and is committed to ensuring that pension provision is sustainable, equitable and affordable.

“We will continue to consult and communicate with our employees. In the event that any disruption led by Unite should occur, we will take all necessary steps to deliver continued service to our customers and clients.”

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