BMW pay win

Unite secures bumper pay deal for BMW Mini workers in Oxford

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Unite has secured a multi-year pay deal for 3,500 workers based at BMW’s Mini production plant in Cowley, Oxford.

The three year pay deal is worth at least 26.1 per cent to the workers when all its elements are factored in.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This is a great deal, which Unite members at BMW in Oxford have won to provide stability and assurance for the workforce over the next three years.

“Unite is dedicated to defending and improving the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. I hope this deal will help lead to further substantial pay increases throughout the automotive sector,” she added.

In the first year of the deal, which is backdated to January 1 2022, workers will receive a 5.5 per cent increase in basic pay and an additional lump sum payment of £1,500 (£1,000 in April and £500 in July).

In the second and third year of the deal workers will receive an increase in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation rate or 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher. Workers will also receive a £1,000 cash payment in April and, if RPI is above three per cent in June, they will receive a further £500 in July.

In addition to the pay increase the deal also includes a major change to each worker’s Working Time Account (WTA), BMW’s banked hours scheme. The WTA was designed to ensure that workers didn’t lose out financially during plant shutdowns. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the semi-conductor shortages, many workers have in excess of minus 200 hours in their WTA. If that figure exceeds minus 300 hours they could potentially go unpaid.

Under the deal, in each of the three years workers will have 33 hours credited to their WTA and, during the lifetime of the deal, they will also bank 1.5 hours into their WTA per week.

The pay deal was brokered by Unite’s lay member negotiating committee the Plant Joint Council (PJC).

Unite regional officer Scott Kemp said, “This deal not only delivers on pay, it has also tackled the problem of workers potentially going unpaid due to the effect of the pandemic and the semi-conductor crisis on production at the plant.

“A huge amount of credit must be given to Unite’s lay activists who serve on the Plant Joint Council and who have brokered a very complex agreement which delivers for all workers at Cowley.”

By Barckley Sumner

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