Housing workers were celebrating after Unite sealed a significant win this month. Workers employed by Citizen Housing Group secured an improved pay increase following Unite’s intervention. Even though two other unions had settled for a smaller rise and a £500 lump sum, Unite reps held out for more. The result was a tripling of the lump sum payment to £1,500 as well as a bigger pay rise. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This deal demonstrates that when Unite members take a stand they secure increased pay.”

Over in west London, parking enforcement officers in Hounslow have secured a whopping pay boost worth almost 18 per cent. The offer came after prolonged strike action, with workers taking two weeks of strike action in January and a further month of strike action from Monday 6 February until 5 March. This was followed by indefinite strike action and Unite’s Clare Keogh commented: “The workers were not prepared to give up. Their determination has paid off ... this is a lesson to other outsourced employers up and down the country. Unite is absolutely determined to ensure our members in local authorities get a fair deal.”

To Selby, North Yorkshire and workers at the Drax power station were particularly incensed that the company tried to force through a real terms pay cut at a time when it was making huge profits due to the increase in the cost of electricity. Drax was estimated to have generated profits in excess of £680 million for 2022, a rise of well over 50 per cent on the previous year. Workers held out, and after taking one day of strike action and threatening eight more, Drax dropped its opposition and the workers were offered a 16 per cent pay rise. Unite regional officer Shane Sweeting said: “Special credit must go to the Unite reps, without their hard work and commitment this pay victory would not have been possible.”

And from generating electricity to transporting fuel. Tanker drivers employed on the Phillips 66 contract delivering to Jet Garages and employed by JW Suckling secured an inflation busting deal worth up to £11,000 a year for the drivers based in Essex, Grangemouth and West London. The pay deal brings the annual salaries of Unite members from £43,315 to £54,579 per year. The deal also included improved overtime rates increasing at least 29 per cent, bonuses increasing by a stunning 47 per cent as well as the introduction of callout payments and allowances. Said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham: “Unite has delivered this fantastic inflation-busting pay deal for JW Suckling Transport tanker drivers, negotiating an increase worth over £11,000 a year more for our members.”

And there were a whole load more wins in March, from AB Agri mill workers getting a 13 per cent rise to a wage uplift of up to seven per cent across 11 Highlands & Islands airports where Unite represents security staff, baggage handlers, ground crew along with those working in fire and rescue, security and administration. Workers at Wabtec Faiveley Transport, who supply and refurbish braking systems for trains also gained a vastly improved pay offer of some 15 per cent over two years while strikes by over 3,100 National Express West Midlands drivers ended after vote to accept improved pay offer; the workers secured not just improved pay - a one-year 16.2 per cent pay increase – but improvements in accident pay, Christmas hours and new and improved terms and conditions. Unite lead national officer Onay Kasab said: “Unite will continue to work, through our Bus Combine, to win double digit pay increases for our members.”

So whether it is drivers on the road, housing workers helping you out at home, engineers ensuring electricity is generated, when Unite members come together to fight for jobs, pay and conditions, it pays dividends. So, if you are not in the union, join Unite today, and if you are a member recruit a colleague or two, or three, or more.