• Kyodo

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Nikkei Inc., the new owner of the Financial Times, Friday denied that it proposed any changes to the British newspaper’s pension contributions, which has reportedly led to its staff voting to go on strike.

The Japanese media company said in a statement that it has “not proposed pension changes to the Financial Times’ labor union,” adding that it was “not in a position to comment” before finalizing the purchase of the financial newspaper.

The Guardian newspaper reported Thursday that almost 92 percent of members of the National Union of Journalists who took part in the vote overwhelmingly endorsed industrial action over proposed pension changes by its new Japanese owner. With a member turnout of 66 percent, the ballot closed midday Thursday, it said.

Management has put forward new proposals, and the union chapter will discuss the latest offer to decide whether to go ahead with action, the NUJ said in a statement.

Nikkei had reportedly planned to reduce contributions to employee pensions by £4 million ($6.12 million), representing a nearly 30 percent cut, and use the savings to pay for rent on FT’s building and other costs.

In July, Nikkei agreed to buy FT Group, which includes the economic daily, from British media and education services group Pearson PLC for £844 million. With the acquisition not covering the FT’s offices, Nikkei plans to rent them from Pearson.

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