Striking Babcock workers will return to work at RAF Leeming, near Northallerton in North Yorkshire, after a ‘topflight pay deal’ was secured, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 26 March). 

More than 50 Babcock workers, who provide operational and engineering services for aircraft at RAF Leeming, including the Hawk trainer aircraft, took more than 20 days of strike action from late January in a dispute over pay. 

Following talks with Unite, Babcock offered the workers a £1500 a year shift premium and a 2.5 per cent pay increase, both backdated to April 2020. 

The workers have voted to accept the deal, which also includes a host of other significant pay-related commitments, ending all industrial action. 

Unite regional officer Neil Howells said: “Our members stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the picket line from January until March and it is their solidarity that won this dispute. 

“Going on strike was not an easy decision for this workforce, who take great pride in their roles assisting operations at the base.

"We are extremely pleased that this dispute has been resolved amicably with a topflight pay deal for our members and that they can now get back to work.”

Unite lead officer for the defence sector, Caren Evans, said: “This excellent result is testament to the rock-solid stance of our Babcock members at RAF Leeming. 

"It shows why it is so important that people join Unite and get their colleagues to do so as well.

“Now more than ever, workers need a way to defend themselves and get a decent deal from their employer. The only way to do that is to join a union.” 


During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected]

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