10 massive pay rises and cost of living payments Unite has won for workers in recent weeks


The union has won massive pay rises for its members in recent weeks

  1. 13% pay rise for thousands of British Airways staff

On 15th August, Unite confirmed that it had managed to secure thousands of British Airways staff, including cabin crew, baggage handlers and engineers, an average 13% pay rise.

The pay rise came after the union backed industrial action for check-in staff and a deal for them was agreed after tough negotiations.

Union chief, Sharon Graham, said the new deal ‘goes some way’ to restore rewards to pre-pandemic levels.

In June, hundreds of check-in and ground staff at Heathrow airport voted to go on strike over pay after a 10 per cent pay cut imposed on them during the pandemic had not yet been reinstated.

In welcoming the latest deal – overwhelmingly backed by BA staff – Graham said BA still have “a long way to go to restore the trust and confidence” of its workforce.

2.Stagecoach bus drivers in Aldershot and Guildford secure inflation beating pay increase

Bus drivers employed by Stagecoach working from depots in Aldershot and Guildford have agreed substantial pay increases following extensive negotiations.

The drivers at the Aldershot bus depot will receive a 13 per cent pay increase while those at the Guildford depot will receive 12.57 per cent. The deal covers a total of 170 members of Unite.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s total focus on boosting jobs, pay and conditions has delivered for our members. This deal could not have been achieved without the efforts of our representatives at Stagecoach and the support of Unite members.”

3. 700 Heinz workers secure pay rise worth 11%

Unite has secured Heinz workers a pay increase worth 11 per cent.

As well as a 5.5 per cent increase on base rates, the workers will receive two one off payments totalling £1,200.

The first payment of £500 will be paid immediately, while the second £700 payment will be received in January 2023, subject to attendance. The payments are not subject to national insurance or income tax deductions.

The deal is worth 11 per cent on average to workers’ yearly wage and includes an additional three days off during the Christmas period.

4. 80 Unite members at Prestwick Airport secure a pay increase of up to £2,000

Unite confirmed that its members based at Prestwick Airport have voted to accept an improved wage offer bringing the dispute to an end.

The trade union has secured significant improvements to the pay, terms and conditions of over 80 members. On average workers will receive a pay uplift of around £1,500 and for some workers up to £2,000 over the year.

Unite represents workers including airport security, firefighters, airfield operators, ground crew, ground handling, cargo, customer services, and cleaners at Prestwick Airport.

5. Members secure an 11% pay rise at Arriva North West

After 29 days of all-out industrial action, Unite the union declared the strike at Arriva North West over, after securing a pay deal for its members.

Unite’s 2043 members across 11 Merseyside garages have voted overwhelmingly (by nearly 10 to one) to accept the 11.1 per cent offer, worth an additional average of £2300 on the workers’ salaries, equal to an extra £55 per week.

Hailing the victory, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members stood strong for a month.  They thoroughly deserve their magnificent victory. This is how Unite responds to the cost of living crisis, with a win that will put an extra £55 per week in our members’ wallets.

6. Unite secures Banbury Barry Callebaut chocolate workers 10% pay increase

Unite secured a 10 per cent pay increase for around 200 workers at the Barry Callebaut chocolate factory in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

The one-year deal pay deal means the workers, who are production operatives and technicians, will see their salaries, bonuses and pensions increase by 10 per cent.

The deal was secured without the need for industrial action.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “When employers can afford to put forward a decent pay rise, we are determined to ensure that they do. Once again, Unite’s total focus on boosting jobs, pay and conditions has delivered for our members. This deal could not have been achieved without the efforts of our representatives at Barry Callebaut and the support of Unite members.”

7. Hundreds of workers at the port of Bristol secure pay rise

The workers who include dockers, engineers, a police force and many other skilled roles rejected the company’s initial pay offer.

There then followed an extensive period of negotiations between Unite and the employer. Eventually an offer of an eight per cent pay increase and a further lump sum payment equivalent to 1.1 per cent of a worker’s salary was agreed.

Unite has 300 members at the port who are employed across all grades.

Unite regional officer Gareth Lowe said: “By standing together Unite members at the Port of Bristol have ensured that the employer has made a significantly improved pay offer.

“The pay increase will offset the cost of living crisis that members are currently experiencing.”

8. Unite campaign wins £1,500 cost of living payment for thousands of HSBC staff

Around 18,000 of the lowest paid bank workers will receive payment in August to help with rising living costs.

Unite, the union representing bank workers at HSBC has today won a £1,500 cost of living payment for the lowest paid staff.

Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, said: “Unite has worked tirelessly to demonstrate to HSBC the need for urgent action to help thousands of employees facing the largest squeeze on their incomes. This extra £1,500 payment demonstrates the importance of the collective trade union voice in the workplace.

“HSBC UK has acted following dialogue with Unite which demanded support for employees through the current financial challenges brought by increases to household bills. The union will continue to campaign to ensure all staff receive a fully consolidated pay increase to ensure pay rates keep up with living costs.”

9. Union chief heralds council workers’ pay victory in Northern Ireland

Unite’s General Secretary Sharon Graham congratulated members of her union at Mid Ulster District Council on winning a decisive victory on pay. After weeks of strike action, a deal involving two pay point increases and a one-off £750 lump sum above that mandated by the National Joint Council (NJC) pay award.

The pay offer was agreed by striking Unite members, ending their four-week strike action at the council and avoiding the prospect of continuous action.

General Secretary of Unite, Sharon Graham said: “This increase was only won because of a powerful strike by Unite members at the council; indeed only days ago they notified council bosses of their intent to move to an all-out strike after the conclusion of their latest four-week action. In the face of such determination, management have agreed a new pay offer.”

10. A £2,300 cost of living payment for workers at the engine manufacturing and components company Cummins.

Earlier this month, the union negotiated a £2,300 cost of living payment for workers at the engine manufacturing and components company Cummins.

The one-off payment will cover 2,730 workers who are part of the bargaining unit that Unite negotiates on behalf of. The agreement covers workers based at the company’s factories in Darlington, Daventry, Huddersfield, Stamford and Wellingborough.

The cost of living payment will be paid in addition to the previously agreed pay increase.

Unite national officer Steve Bush said: “This £2,300 cost of living payment will be a welcome relief to Unite’s members at Cummins who have been struggling with the effects of inflation and rising bills.

“Credit must be given to Unite’s reps at Cummins, without whose hard work and dedication this substantial payment would not have been agreed.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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