Branch Secretary :

Unite is winning, we can too!

Shot in the arm



Saturday’s trade union demonstration could be just the shot in the arm that workers need to take on their penny pinching pro austerity employers. This demonstration of workers' power and anger could provide workers with the confidence to go back to their workplaces on Monday and start fighting for decent inflation busting wage increases.




The widespread strikes announced by the RMT for next week will also help to boost workers' confidence in other sectors. Unite has not been simply waiting for a change however. Recent victories show what can be achieved:



Unite at Lloyds group recently won a £1000 cost of living bonus after rejecting Lloyds previous offer. Our members organised a demonstration outside their AGM in May, promising more to come unless the offer was increased. Members were delighted when they discovered that Lloyds had substantially increased their offer with this bonus. Sharon Graham, Unite General Secretary said: “Unite members’ collective action has put desperately needed money into the pockets of staff on the front line.



Important step



“This victory for Unite’s LBG pay campaign is an important step in changing the bank’s pay structures. Staff will welcome the £1,000 bonus but there is still a long way to go to eradicate low pay in one of the economy’s most profitable sectors.”



This news follows the announcement that Unite has won a 9% increase for cleaners at ABM based at Glasgow Airport. This latest deal at Glasgow Airport follows a growing list of successes by Unite in the aviation industry with the pay of around 800 workers being boosted in total over the last few months. This includes pay deals at ICTS Central Search and Hold Baggage Screeners (15 and 28.5% increases), OCS Group (10.2% increase), Loganair (11.2% increase), and Menzies Aviation (9.1% increase).



Elsewhere Dock Workers at Plymouth Devonport dockyard also won a substantial increase which amounts to 13% for the lowest paid. This agreement will cover a total of 1,150 workers in an area blighted by low pay.



Whopping increase



However top of the pay charts are workers at James Wilson based at Gatwick Airport when they announced their whopping 21% wage increase on the 13th June. In addition, Unite has secured a 10 per cent pay increase for 200 workers employed by British Airways Gatwick Ground Handlers (GGS).



Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham, had this to say on the victory, “This is how Unite responds to the current crisis in aviation – we are forcing pay up and improving working conditions in a sector that for too long has kept wages at rock bottom.” That should ring a bell with workers in the housing sector where there has been a race to the bottom for too long. If aviation workers can win inflation busting wage claims under similar conditions, we should take confidence from that. 



Come to the demonstration


Come to the TUC demonstration on Saturday and march with Unite housing workers. We meet at corner of Margaret Street and Regent Street W1B 3AP at 11.15am (nearest tube Oxford Circus). We can’t guarantee a pay rise but we can guarantee a determined fight for a pay rise!


Nick Auvache


14 June 2022


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