Can AA strike be avoided?

Union leaders are desperately trying to avert strikes by AA patrol staff. The GMB Union wrote to chief executive Andy Goodsell seeking talks after the Independent Democratic Union called for a series of 48hr strikes due to a row over pensions. Sunday, May 2, and Monday, May 3 are the dates outlined for the first of four strikes with further dates to be announced later this month. With roads expected to be busy during the May bank holiday there could be serious problems if motorists are stranded at the roadside for eight-10 hours. According to the union’s national secretary, Alistair Maclean, the management’s proposed cuts to pension provisions “shows they do not care about their employees”. Currently, there is a £190million deficit in the AA’s pension scheme with managers wanting to limit employees’ annual rises in pensionable salary to 2.5 per cent while raising staff contributions. According to the AA, this action is being taken to keep its final salary scheme open when other companies are closing theirs. If it goes ahead, the strike will affect 2,400 patrol staff and would coincide with a strike by rail workers if the Rail Maritime and Transport union wins a mandate for industrial action in a ballot of signal workers and maintenance staff.

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