Workers at BMW in Hams Hall are considering a final offer from the car manufacturer in a long-running dispute over pensions which could see staff shifted to new contracts if it is rejected.
The German car giant has this week put forward another reshaped offer in a final bid to bring to an end the ongoing row with staff and members of the Unite trade union.
The dispute centres on BMW's plans to close its final-salary pension scheme to future accrual, something which Unite has claimed could cost some staff up to £160,000 in retirement income.
BMW has been steadfast in its bid to move to a new pension scheme and has now said that one option to make the proposed change go through would be to give notice to terminate existing employment contracts and offer new ones in their place.
The company stressed these contracts would be on the same terms but without any entitlement to future benefit accrual under the defined benefit pension scheme, adding that nobody would be losing their job, be made redundant or have to reapply for roles.
Unite has launched a new ballot of its members over this latest and final offer from BMW which runs until July 7 but it admits this is "the best" that can be achieved.
The pension changes affect staff at the Hams Hall plant in Coleshill, where low-emission engines and engine components are manufactured, along with workers at sites in Swindon, Mini in Oxfordshire and Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex.
Eight separate days of industrial action were planned across the factories and, although these commenced in April, strike action was suspended a month later as Unite considered a revised pension offer from BMW.
However, that offer was rejected by Unite earlier in June, prompting BMW to bring forward a revised offer this week.
In a statement, the union said: "Following further meetings with BMW, a revised offer was put forward by the company.
"Unite's convenors and senior official however consider the revised offer to the best that can be achieved by negotiation.
"Members will have the opportunity to consider the revised offer and have their say in a ballot."
It is understood that, if union members reject BMW's final offer, the manufacturer will continue to plan for the closure of the scheme to future accrual and implement the defined contribution scheme anyway, with the new contracts one of the means of doing so.
A full consultation will be held with staff on any future proposals.
BMW said: "Following further discussions with union representatives, the company has tabled a re-shaped offer designed to support employees during the company's proposed move to its new UK pension arrangements.
"The company is keeping all staff fully informed and we await feedback following a further ballot which the union has agreed to hold.
"We believe this final offer to be fair and in the long-term interests of both the company and all our employees."