5 big wins for Unite the Union

The huge breakthroughs in pay rises and improved conditions secured so far this month by Unite

This month Unite the Union have secured huge double-digit pay deals and breakthroughs in fair pay and conditions for their members.

Strike dates and disruption may continue to dominate trade union news coverage, but every week unions across the country are achieving amazing results for workers in the continued fight for better pay and working conditions.

Here are five big wins this month secured by the UK and Ireland’s largest trade union.

1. Woolwich ferry workers make double-digit waves

Workers made waves in Woolwich with a double-digit pay rise after years of campaigning and strikes.

Car park assistants on the river Thames ferry service will receive an impressive 26% pay rise from April, along with an additional 7% to recognise weekend working.

Vessel crews will also receive an increase in their basic pay, with senior deckhands set for a pay rise of over 18%, and an additional 10% to recognise night working.

The win comes after years of industrial unrest which Onay Kasab, Unite lead national officer, called a ‘hard fought win’ and reflected the determination of workers in the face of low pay and bullying.

The excellent pay deal means workers can finally gain recognition for their crucial role in the operation of the service.

2. Tanker drivers inflation-busting pay rise

Tanker drivers in the Scottish town of Grangemouth are speeding towards an inflation-busting 26% pay rise, worth over £11,000 a year.

The drivers, employed by JW Suckling Transport, supply fuel to Jet Garages and will also receive improvements to their overtime rates, bonuses, callout payments and allowances.

The pay rise will make a huge difference for the dozen drivers affected, whose annual salaries will rise from at least £43,315 to £54,579 per year.

3. Offshore workers win extra paid leave

It’s not just about pay, as offshore workers employed by Sparrows Offshore Services reached a deal to secure an extra three weeks paid leave with no reduction in wages.

Employers agree to other benefits including an uplift in overtime pay for workers doing above the normal 12-hour shifts.

This meant strike action set for March until June across BP platforms was avoided.

However, 1,400 workers for other oil and gas operators on the UK Continental Shelf have just voted overwhelmingly to strike for better pay and conditions from their employers, who are enjoying record-busting profits.

Unite warned the action could create a ‘tsunami of industrial action’ and hit a number of major operators including Shell, Apache and harbour Energy.

4. Highlands and Islands airport staff flying high on pay boost

Staff at eleven Highlands and Islands airports secured a pay rise worth 7% after taking action to improve pay for rural communities in Scotland.

The long-running dispute concerned 120 members of the union including security staff, baggage handlers, ground crew along with those working in fire and rescue, security and administration.

Airports in Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Dundee, Inverness, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick were affected and the revised pay offer was accepted by 93% of members.

5. Parking officers in Hounslow end indefinite strike action

Parking Enforcement Officers across the west London borough of Hounslow have secured a pay boost worth almost 18%.

Workers were offered the pay deal following an escalating in their tactics after taking indefinite strike action following a series of strikes in January and February.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said it was a ‘cracking pay deal’ reflecting the workers’ rock solid determination.

The union added that it was a ‘lesson to other outsourced employers up and down the country’, ensuring members in local authorities get a fair deal.

Read more about the series of wins and impressive pay deals from Unite the Union across the UK in our coverage previously this year.

Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward

(Photo credit: Creative Commons / Flickr)

Left Foot Forward’s trade union reporting is supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust

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