Top 5 big Unite the union wins so far this year

Here are some of the impressive pay rises gained by union members through collective bargaining so far this year

Unite the Union

Unions have helped secure much needed pay rises for workers across the country, here are the top five over the past three months from one of the UK’s largest unions Unite.

1. 25% pay rise for parking officers 

Parking enforcement officers won an impressive 25% pay rise in Slough after a month of industrial action. 40 workers employed by Saba Park Services will benefit from an increase in the lowest hourly pay to £13.20 from £10.50.

Membership in the workplace tripled from 13 to 40 as Unite also established recognition during negotiations. The union said the victory came after Slough’s Conservative council had washed its hands of the dispute, saying it didn’t believe it had a role to play in the dispute. 

2. Lump sum payment won for Mitie workers

Following a long campaign lobbying the private sector outsourced company Mitie and the government, healthcare workers in the west midlands were awarded over £1600 lump sum payments they were owed. 

Mitie eventually agreed to pay the lump sum following strike action and determination from the members who worked in roles including catering and admin roles at hospitals in Dudley, and who ‘stood strong and lobbied hard’ for their payment. 

3. Workers get ‘much needed’ pay boost in cost-of-living crisis 

Workers for the Suntory Beverage & Food in Gloucestershire, which produces Lucozande and Ribena, secured a 5.5% pay increase, calling off escalated strike action. 

It followed a broken promise by the company to review staff pay should inflation exceed five per cent before June 2023. However fresh talks were held after strikes last month and a deal was settled, providing members with the “much needed support during a difficult economic period”, the regional officer said.

4. Tram drivers pay soars up by 33% in two years

Metro tram drivers in the West Midlands secured a 13.5% pay rise in February, negotiated without the need for industrial action.

However the tram drivers have had a 33.6% total increase in wages since 2022, after gaining a 20% rise in 2022 after taking strike action and seeing their salaries leap from £22,000 to £30,100, getting a “well-deserved increase” after being paid “too little for what they did”, Sharon Graham Unite’s general secretary said. 

5. ‘Outstanding’ pay rise for thousands of construction workers

Thousands of construction workers benefited from a two-year pay rise worth a minimum of 17.4% which Graham hailed as an “outstanding deal”. 3,000 workers who carry out essential repair and maintenance work on oil refineries, power stations and plants benefited from the uplift following a strike ballot. 

“This outstanding deal was achieved because our members knew the NAECI employers could not ignore their demands if they acted collectively,” said Graham.

(Image credit: Garry Knight – Creative Commons)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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