Recognition deals, first ever agreements and 24 per cent pay rises, even though May 2023 was packed full of bank holidays, Unite is still delivering on jobs, pay and conditions for workers wherever they are.

This month’s wins open in the offshore sector where Unite signed a recognition deal with the operator CNOOC Petroleum Europe which covers around 140 workers on the Buzzard, Scott, and Golden Eagle platforms. Unite industrial officer John Boland said: “This is a really significant recognition agreement signed with CNOOC. It is only the second recognition agreement we have secured with an offshore operator. We believe it comes at a time when our members’ resolve is resonating across the offshore sector. Corporations are sitting up and taking notice. Unite hopes this positive development will lead to other operators following a similar path as CNOOC.”

dhl vehicleAnd following a continued campaign HGV drivers employed at DHL’s Crick DIDC2 site in Kilsby, Northampton are now backed by Unite after a recognition deal was signed in May. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a significant deal for our members on the DHL contract who will now have Unite watching their backs and fighting their corner. Recognition deals like this … underline that Unite’s focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of workers is resonating throughout the economy.” Unite will now begin the process of electing driver representatives at the company with a focus on enhancing driver terms and conditions.

And it is not just on the seas or roads where Unite is gaining recognition, in Wales Unite signed the first ever agreement between a union and a private veterinary practice. The agreement between the British Veterinary Union (BVU) in Unite and Valley Vets, which has sites in Caerphilly, Ystrad Mynach and Pentyrch, plus two in Cardiff, covers around 120 workers and all roles in the industry. BVU chair Suzanna Hudson-Cooke said: “This agreement, providing Valley Vets workers with the means to organise and then improve their jobs, pay and conditions, will serve as an inspiration to others in the veterinary industry who wish to do the same.” And Unite general secretary Sharon Graham added: “This is an historic achievement for the veterinary sector, as the first-ever union recognition agreement in a private veterinary company in the UK ... the hard miles of union organisation have delivered. What we need is more similar agreements across the entire sector.”

Other wins in May saw workers at Whirlpool’s repairs warehouse in Peterborough call off strike action following a vastly improved pay offer. Following extensive negotiation with Unite, Whirlpool made a significantly improved pay offer of an increase of at least 10 per cent with some workers even seeing their pay increase by up to 18 per cent. Unite regional officer Mark Plumb said: “Unite was adamant from the outset that Whirlpool could fully afford to make a fair pay offer and through extensive negotiations a much improved offer was made and accepted by the workforce. This pay deal and the many others like it is exactly why workers who want to improve their wages and working lives should join Unite and get their colleagues to join too.”

But the top win for May goes to workers at Morrisons. Tanker drivers employed by Fuel Transport & Logistics on the Morrisons' North and South and southern fuel contract could receive a rise of up to 24 per cent. National officer Tony Devlin said: “The pay deal for our members at Fuel Transport & Logistics on the Morrisons National Fuels Contract, is the latest significant deal for our fuel tanker drivers. If other workers in the sector want to improve their wages they should join Unite and ensure that their colleagues also join.” Unite has secured a 13.5 per cent increase for 2022, a 10.5 per cent increase for 2023 and a guarantee that next year all drivers’ salaries will increase to £65,000 per annum. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham concluded: “This is an excellent result and … this pay deal is further evidence that Unite’s focus on jobs, pay and conditions is paying dividends for its members.”

So whether offshore, on the road or on the factory floor, if you are not in the union, join Unite today, and if you are a member recruit a colleague or two today.