Journalists at the Financial Times are set to hold a 24-hour-strike in protest about changes to pension arrangements under new owner Nikkei.
Staff on the old Pearson final salary defined benefit pension scheme are said to be losing out under alternative arrangements proposed under the new owner.
A meeting of members of the National Union of Journalists at the Financial Times today passed the following motion:
This meeting condemns Financial Times executives for their refusal to offer equivalent terms for all pension scheme members and their recent statement that "there is no more room for manoeuvre". We note that they have rejected two compromise offers from the pensions reps.
FT claims that they have offered £13m in concessions to Final Pay (Defined Benefit) members is grossly misleading. Only £4m of this is an addition to the original low offer and aimed at pension accruals; much of the money on offer – including funds won to pay for financial advice for all staff – may not be taken up. According to management figures, an equivalent pensions scheme for DB members would cost on average £1.4m a year over 25 years. For a profitable company with no pension deficit, we believe that this figure is very sustainable.
In light of the deadlock in the negotiations, we support the NUJ stance of taking strike action in defence of our common aim that the FT must honour its commitment to fair and equivalent terms and conditions for all after the Nikkei takeover. We understand that does not rule out further talks or Acas involvement on the basis that there is room for an improved deal.
We also urge pension reps to push for improved terms for Defined Contribution members by seeking access to higher company contributions from an earlier age.
NUJ members agreed to call a 24-hour strike, in line with a previous motion (they have already held a ballot which provides legal authorisation for a stoppage).
Staff will have to give management seven days notice of a walkout.
According to NUJ representatives at the FT, the union has 270 members at the FT who comprise 250 out of 484 editorial staff on UK contracts.