Industrial action takes off at south west wing-makers

Industrial action to take off at south west wing-makers

18 May 2017

Members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, employed at GKN Aerospace Services Ltd (Western Approach), will begin industrial action next week in a dispute over pay.

The workers, based at Severnside, Avonmouth near Bristol, build aeroplane wings and have not received a pay increase for either 2016 or 2017, while managers have received bonuses and rewards.

Workers overwhelmingly voted by 90 per cent in favour of strike action and 96 per cent in favour of action short of strike.

The company is reliant on overtime work to meet the demand for customer orders. Unite has announced that it will begin an indefinite overtime ban from Thursday 25 May.

If the company does not make a reasonable pay offer, strike action could begin next month the union warned.

Workers in the rest of the GKN Aerospace group received a one per cent pay increase in 2016 and a three per cent increase in 2017.

Unite deputy regional secretary Steve Preddy said: “GKN can easily resolve this dispute by making a fair pay offer for 2016 and 2017. What members are seeking is affordable and there is no reason why they should be treated differently from other workers.

“GKN has continued to blame technical and operational management failures for the decision not to offer workers a pay increase. At the same time it has hypocritically given bonuses and rewards to managers.

“Workers have demonstrated their flexibility and hard work in seeking to assure that the factory is a success and in return the company has slapped them in the face by failing to instigate a pay rise.

“It is highly disappointing that rather than seek to resolve this dispute the company has begun to threaten the workforce, by suggesting that existing working arrangements are under threat.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.