Unite News Release

For immediate release: Wednesday 16 February 2022

As inflation soars, Unite leader reiterates demands for pay increases to combat brutal ‘cost of living’ crisis

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: "Soaring inflation is not the fault of workers.  This is yet another crisis not of their making so why should workers be made to pay for it?

“It’s a national disgrace that some workers in the UK have to choose between heating and eating while profits rain down in boardrooms.

“Unite will continue to demand significant pay increases to combat this brutal cost of living crisis because we must restore some fairness to working life.”

The latest inflation figures lay bare the cost of living crisis facing workers. The crisis could become a catastrophe for many from April when taxes rise and 22 million people will see an annual increase of £693 on their energy bills, with even more for those on pre-payment meters.

Earlier this month Sharon Graham rejected the Governor of the Bank of England's call for pay restraint as tantamount to a call “for a national pay cut”.

Sharon Graham said: “Where employers can pay, they should pay. We are fed up of rich men telling workers they have to pay for boardroom greed and colossal market failure.

 "Whether it's workers at BMW Mini where Unite negotiated a 26 per cent pay deal over three years, or at First Manchester where bus drivers got an increase worth 8.9 per cent following strike action, Unite is unashamedly committed to defending its members’ living standards.  We make no apology whatsoever for fighting for workers' jobs, pay and conditions.”

Last week, Unite secured a multi-year pay deal worth 26% for 3,500 workers based at BMW’s Mini production plant in Cowley, Oxford. Hundreds of drivers employed by First Manchester secured a pay increase of 8.9 per cent following eight days of strike action.  Strikes at B&Q’s national distribution centre in Worksop came to an end after Wincanton workers accepted a pay deal worth 10.75 per cent for 450  employees (see notes to editors). 

Unite bases wage claims on the RPI which has today risen to 7.8%, rather than CPI. RPI includes housing costs and better reflects the actual price rises experienced by Unite members. 


notes to editors

 Unite secures bumper pay deal for BMW mini workers

First Manchester bus strikes suspended following new pay offer

Worksop B&Q stirkes end with Wincanton workers celebrating a pay victory

For media enquires ONLY contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315. 
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.