Airbus workers at the company’s factories in Broughton, North Wales, and Filton, Gloucestershire have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay.
Around 3,000 Airbus employees, members of Unite, voted overwhelmingly 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.
Strikes at the Broughton and Filton sites, which design, test and manufacture wings for Airbus’ commercial aircraft, could begin as early as March.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This vote makes it abundantly clear that our members are totally dissatisfied with Airbus’ unacceptably low pay offer. Airbus needs to acknowledge that and table a sensible offer, one that amply reflects rising living costs, 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,” she added. “There is no excuse – Airbus can well afford to pay its workers the decent rise they deserve and it should move to do so without delay.”
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.
Unite national officer for aerospace, Rhys McCarthy, added, “In 2020, Airbus workers accepted a pay freeze and since then have worked extremely hard to get the company back on track as the country emerges from the pandemic.
“Now Airbus needs to step up and ensure they have a fair pay increase to help mitigate rocketing inflation and the rising cost of living. There is still time to avoid strike action but Airbus needs to table an offer our members can accept.”
By Ryan Fletcher