Unilever Port Sunlight workers battle for living wage ...

Unilever Port Sunlight workers battle for living wage for all staff across UK sites

20 November 2014

Workers at Unilever’s Port Sunlight plant in the Wirral are fighting to get all their contractor work colleagues, such as cleaners, security guards and canteen workers, a pay rise to the ‘living wage’ – currently £9.15 in London and £7.85 for the rest of the UK.

Unite members have launched a ‘living wage’ campaign, with support from all Unilever sites (Purfleet, Burton, Gloucester, Crumlin, Warrington, Manchester, Leeds, Norwich, Port Sunlight and R&D), including hundreds of petition signatures. The campaign calls on Unilever to become a ‘living wage’ accredited company which would mean the current ‘living wage’ would be paid to all cleaners and other low-paid contracted staff in Unilever. 

Unite senior reps and members will be showcasing their solidarity and support of its campaign for Unilever to become an accredited ‘living wage’ employer in a photo opportunity outside Unilever’s iconic Port Sunlight factory today.

WHEN: Thursday 20 November 2014, from 12:30
WHERE: Unilever Port Sunlight, Wirral, Merseyside CH62 4ZD

Unite regional officer Rhys McCarthy; “We know that poverty pay has no place in modern Britain and Unilever becoming an accredited ‘living wage’ employer will make a huge difference to contracted staff living on poverty pay, not being able to feed their families or make ends meet.  

“Our members want to showcase solidarity today and that they are backing a ‘living wage’ for all their work colleagues.

“The campaign has received widespread support across all Unilever sites - I hope that the success of the campaign will spread to other campaigners and employers across the country to lift thousands more families out of working poverty and step up all demands to get all employers to sign up to a ‘living wage’.

“It’s time to end in-work poverty. A ‘living wage’ for all is our vision”

Alison McGovern MP for Wirral South said: “Let me congratulate all those who have joined this campaign to raise awareness of pay conditions and the ‘living wage’.

“In times when people are struggling, it is especially important to put the spotlight on this issue. The positive response from Unilever is good news, especially as it is a local employer in my constituency.

“Labour would make work pay by raising the national minimum wage to £8 per hour by the end of the next parliament, and getting more employers to pay a living wage.”

Workers are planning to present the campaign petition to the joint Union-Company National Forum in Gloucester next month. This follows a successful campaign with Nestle to secure a ‘living wage’ for all staff directly and indirectly employed by the company led by Unite, GMB and Usdaw. 


For further information please contact Rhys McCarthy on 07770565732.

Notes to editors:

  • 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.