FT journalists set to strike on Thursday as MPs back fight over pensions

Financial Times Journalists are set to hold a 24-hour strike all day on Thursday in protest at changes to their pensions.

Union officials were today involved with talks with management moderated by ACAS.

Further pressure was placed on the FT's new owners Nikkei by an early day motion tabled in the Commons which has so far been signed by four Labour MPs and one Conservative.

The motion states:

That this House is concerned about the continued lack of adequate protections for final salary or defined benefit pension schemes where companies are taken over; notes that when Pearson Group sold the Financial Times to Nikkei, workers were told that the terms of the pension scheme would be fair and equivalent under the new ownership; further notes that for some the changes introduced to the pension scheme will mean a shortfall amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds over a 20-year retirement; calls on the new management to enter meaningful negotiations with representatives of the National Union of Journalists over alternative proposals; supports the right of workers at the Financial Times to take industrial action in the absence of any such negotiations; and further calls on the Government to commit to a thorough review of protection for the private pension arrangements of workers across the private sector.

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.

An FT spokesperson said: "We believe our proposal reaches the right and fair balance for the FT and all of our employees.

"The new FT defined contribution pension plan is among the best offered anywhere. It is as good and in some cases better than the previous plan, used by the vast majority of employees.

"For the approximately 180 FT Group employees impacted by the change, in addition to maintaining all of the pension benefits they accrued in the previous plan, we are offering £13m in dedicated funding to help manage and reduce the impact on future benefits."

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