Workers at Airbus’ factories in Broughton in North Wales and Filton in South West England have begun balloting for industrial action in a dispute over pay.

The dispute is a result of the company making an unacceptably low pay offer to the workers for 2021, following a pay freeze in 2020. Despite extensive negotiations, Airbus has failed to increase its offer to a level that workers are able to support.

Airbus pay increase deserved

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Workers at Airbus are committed to their jobs and their hard work and dedication is the reason for the company’s success. They fully deserve a fair pay increase.

“Unite is dedicated to prioritising the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and it will be giving its full support to our members at Airbus until this dispute is resolved.”

Ballot opens

The dispute involves around 3,000 workers who are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union. The ballot opens today (Tuesday 25 January) and closes on Tuesday 15 February. If the workers vote in favour of industrial action than strike action could begin in March.

Although Unite has begun balloting for industrial action, the union remains hopeful that Airbus will return to the negotiating table and a mutually acceptable agreement can be reached.

Previous pay freeze

Unite national officer for aerospace Rhys McCarthy said: “At the height of the pandemic workers at Airbus accepted a pay freeze. As the sector returns to normality, coupled with high inflation and increased living costs, workers deserve a fair pay increase.

“Workers are balloting for industrial action as a last resort due to negotiations having stalled. Unite remains committed to resolving this dispute through negotiations and is fully prepared to hold further talks with Airbus to secure an agreement which is acceptable to both sides.”


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

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.