GMB said that dates for industrial action were not yet confirmed but will be set later this week unless the pharmaceuticals giant reopens negotiations over planned changes to its pension scheme.
GMB announced that staff at AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield factory voted by almost 3-1 to go on strike.
The dispute arises from the giant pharmaceutical company’s proposals to, in effect, end its final salary (or defined benefit) pension scheme for 2,500 staff based mainly at Maccesfield.
The Macclesfield site is the second largest site worldwide in the AstraZeneca group.
GMB is the largest union on the site.
Allan Black GMB National Officer said: “This clear mandate for a strike in the midst of the current economic circumstances ought to be a wake up call to AstraZeneca to resume negotiations with GMB.
“The company needs to return to the negotiating table as a matter of urgency. They have to understand that unless they take this opportunity then strike action will be the consequence. There will be a meeting of shop stewards later this week to fix dates for industrial action unless the company come back to the negotiating table with meaningful terms”.
Talks on AstraZeneca’s pension proposals were held over a three month period earlier this year.
The results failed to alter the firm’s original stance.
The Wall Street Journal reported that AstraZeneca is reviewing the information provided by GMB union resulting from the ballot, but remained committed to ‘providing pension arrangements that compare favorably to other organizations in the UK’.
Edited by Ellie Duncan