Formula One, Rolls Royce, BAE, Hinkley Point impacted after ‘hugely profitable’ firm offers ‘pay cut’ 

Pay strikes by nearly 300 workers employed by engineering firm Darchem in Stillington, Stockton-on-Tees, will intensify over the summer, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday).

The workers have already taken seven days of strike action over pay, with a further 15 days now scheduled to take place during July and August. 

This week, the workers rejected in a ballot by 92 per cent an offer of six per cent backdated to February, with a further four per cent in October. The offer removed a condition that the pay anniversary date be changed from February to October, which would have resulted in a 20-month pay deal being imposed. However, the workers believe that a split pay deal is still unreasonable given the company’s huge profits.  

Darchem, owned by the US-based TransDigm Group, is an extremely profitable company that makes a range of products for the automotive, aerospace, energy and shipbuilding industries. The company’s latest financial returns show it had a turnover of over £108 million in 2021. During the same year, operating profits increased by 53.3 per cent to £25.3 million.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Darchem is making millions in profits. It can afford to pay its workers a reasonable pay increase and that’s

what needs to happen. Our members’ jobs, pay and conditions are Unite’s top priority and Darchem’s workforce have their union’s absolute support during these strikes.”  

The strikes, which also involve members of the GMB union, will shut down Darchem’s Stillington factory. This will impact production for Darchem’s clients, including BAE, Formula One racing companies, Hinkley Point and Rolls Royce aerospace. 

The fresh strikes will take place from 18 to 21 July25 to 28 July1 to 4 August8 to 11 August and 15 to 18 August

Unite regional officer Neil Howells said: “Our members are rock solid in their determination to receive a decent pay rise, which Darchem can well afford. The company’s attempts to punish the striking workers by refusing their annual leave requests has just strengthened their resolve. Darchem needs to return to the negotiating table and put forward an acceptable offer.”


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

Email: [email protected]

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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.