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Top Ten most popular articles on this week!

The strike in Ireland featured twice in this week’s top 10 after Pfizer employees in County Cork lost a dispute over pensions. Two of our features also appeared in the top stories of the week. While ‘Counterfeit drugs – countering the lies’, picks apart ‘common sense’ claims on counterfeit drugs in asking to what extent the problem of falsified medicines is a problem at all; ‘Repurposed drugs’ looks at the Supreme Court ruling on the Lyrica patent and asks what it means.

Pfizer ignores strike in Ireland as 900 employees' pensions affected

US multinational Pfizer is going ahead with its decision to transfer 900 of its Irish employees into a new defined contribution pension plan on 1 April, the company has said.

Following strike action from employees at Pfizer’s Ringaskiddy and Little Island plants in County Cork, Pfizer have pushed ahead with their decision to alter 900 employees’ pension plans.

The Irish workers will be transferred onto defined contribution plans from defined benefit plans on 1 April.

400 Pfizer employees set to strike over pensions

400 Pfizer employees are set to go on strike in Ireland over an ongoing pensions dispute.

Members of SITPU, Ireland’s biggest trade union, voted to go on strike at Pfizer’s Ringaskiddy and Little Island plants in County Cork.

Employees working at the Ringaskiddy plant in will go on strike for 24 hours on the 15 February. The strike will be followed by a second 24 hour shutdown on 18 February.

Meanwhile workers at the Little Island facility will strike for a full day on 18 February.

Irish Pfizer employees to launch industrial action ballot over pensions scheme

Pfizer employees have rejected a Labour Court recommendation regarding their pension scheme, opting to initiate a ballot over potential industrial action instead.

As many as 900 workers at Pfizer’s operations in Ireland will take part in the ballot which will determine what happens next.

The decision comes after Pfizer sought to switch 900 of its employees from pension schemes that offer workers a proportion of their salary on retirement to a new plan which would not offer this guarantee.  

NHS staff striking over pay

NHS image

Over 400,000 NHS staff have gone on strike for four hours as a 1% pay rise requested by Unions was turned down due to its high cost.

In a move not seen for 30 years workers from six trade unions are now taking part which will disrupt NHS services - although emergency care is said to be largely unaffected. 

Ending at 11am, the strike which began at 8am this morning mostly affects England but some staff in Northern Ireland are involved.

Despite pressure from ministers, doctors strike

Health secretary Andrew Lansley fails in his attempt to avert strike action

The British Medical Association is going ahead with its planned strike today, despite a last ditch effort from ministers to stop the industrial action.

The doctors are striking over changes to their pensions, which will see them pay a higher percentage into their pension pots compared to other civil servants.

UK doctors vote to strike

Doctors will take industrial action for the first time in almost 40 years, the British Medical Association has confirmed. 

The action is due to changes to the NHS pension scheme, which the doctors’ union believes is unfair to its members. 

The first day of action will take place on 21 June and will see doctors providing all urgent and emergency care, but postponing non-urgent cases, such as elective hip and knee operations.   

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