Airbus workers at Broughton vote to strike over pay
Airbus workers at Broughton have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay.
Around 3,000 Airbus employees, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, voted to strike after the company refused to improve on an ‘unacceptably low’ pay offer for 2021. This is despite the fact that workers shouldered a pay freeze in 2020.
Airbus has said it is disappointed by the decision “given the damaging impact it will have on our recovery” but said it committed to ongoing dialogue with the union.
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s top priority is the jobs, terms and conditions of our members and it is clear our members are highly dissatisfied with Airbus’ unacceptably low pay offer. Airbus needs to acknowledge that and table a sensible offer before this dispute escalates further.”
“The deal simply does not reflect our members’ hard work and dedication, nor the sacrifices they have made over the last two years. There is no excuse – Airbus can well afford to pay its workers the reasonable rise they deserve.”
Strike action at Broughton which manufactures wings for Airbus’ commercial aircraft, could begin as early as March.
Unite said strike action can be avoided if Airbus returns to negotiations and puts forward an offer that meets the workers’ expectations.
On a ballot with an 84 per cent turn out, 94 per cent of Unite Airbus members voted for strike action.
Tony Brady Unite Regional Co-ordinating Officer commented: “Airbus have published excellent financial results but are failing miserably to offer our members at Broughton a decent pay rise. ”
“The healthy finances of Airbus have only been achieved through the dedication hard work of their world class workforce.”
“If Airbus want to avoid industrial action at Broughton they must change course and table a pay award that reflects the cost of living crisis and meets our members expectations”.
An Airbus spokesman said: “ We understand the decision to vote in favour of industrial action has not been taken lightly.”
“However, we are disappointed by the decision, given the damaging impact it will have on our recovery from the pandemic, which has been the worst crisis the aviation industry has ever faced.”
“Airbus in the UK managed to successfully navigate the first waves of the pandemic without the need for any compulsory redundancies at a cost of more than £100M and we made our pay offer in the context of the pandemic’s impact on our business and the wider benefits structure employees receive.”
The spokesman said: “The Company is keen to avoid damaging industrial action so we can focus on building a resilient, competitive and collaborative place to work for years to come.”
“We are committed to ongoing dialogue with the Trade Union to help bring this situation to a successful resolution.”
“The safety of our people and products is paramount and we will now implement plans to ensure the protection of our operations is maintained going forward.’