Highly profitable firm offers low paid workers inadequate ‘strings attached’ pay deal

More than 50 Leicester factory workers employed by aerospace engine bolt manufacturer Howmet are to strike later this month, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday). 

The workers, who earn as little as £11 per hour and an average of £12.50 an hour, have rejected a four per cent offer, plus purported pay incentives, that has more  ‘strings attached than a grand piano’. 

Howmet Fastenings’ latest financial report shows it made UK profits of over £4 million for the year ending December 2021. US-based parent company Howmet Aerospace, meanwhile, reported that international revenue in the first quarter of 2023 increased by 21 per cent to $1.6 billion, with profits of $360 million. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Howmet may proclaim that it has put forward a generous pay offer but it is smoke and mirrors – the deal has more strings attached than a grand piano. Howmet’s workers are low paid and struggling with rising living costs, while the company brings in millions. Unite’s top priority is our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and these striking workers will receive the union’s full support until Howmet puts forward an acceptable pay offer.”

Howmet’s Leicester factory supplies parts to Rolls Royce, Pratt and Whitney. The first day of strike action will take place on Thursday 29 June, followed by a continuous overtime ban and work to rule after the strike ends. If the dispute is not resolved further strike dates will be scheduled. 

Unite regional officer Lee Purslow said: “Howmet’s clients will not be pleased that their production lines are being disrupted because the company’s management is refusing its staff a reasonable pay offer. Howmet needs to return to the negotiating table with a deal our members can accept.”

ENDS 

For media enquires ONLY contact senior Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215 or 020 3371 2065.

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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.