GE Aviation workers to strike over pay

GE Aviation workers in Gloucester will 'accept nothing less than a proper pay rise'

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Workers employed by GE Aviation Systems Limited’s subsidiary Dowty Propellers are to begin strike action next week in a dispute over pay.

The 90-plus workers, who are based at the company’s factory in Hurricane Road, Gloucester, are taking industrial action after rejecting a two year pay offer worth just 4.5 per cent, even though the real level of inflation (RPI) currently stands at 7.8 per cent.

The first strike will take place on Friday, March 4, with further strikes scheduled for every Friday until May 20.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Unite has given GE Aviation every opportunity to make a fair pay offer to avoid strike action but it has refused to do so.

“Our members have made it clear that they will accept nothing less than a proper pay rise and they have Unite’s full support in this fight.

“GE Aviation has got to get real – it’s time to table a serious offer.”

The workers, who are members of Unite, voted for strike action in November last year but Unite delayed announcing it in an attempt to resolve the dispute through negotiations. However, when GE Aviation refused to improve its offer, the union was left with no option but to declare the action.

The company is a leading manufacturer of propeller systems and its products are used in both civilian and military aircraft as well as in hovercrafts. The company’s clients include the RAF and the United States airforce. Strike action will inevitably cause considerable disruption and delays to all of the company’s clients.

GE Aviation is a part of the multinational corporation General Electric. The company’s global aviation arm is extremely profitable: its 2021 accounts reveal it made a profit of $2,882 billion. The company’s UK directors are extremely well rewarded, with the latest accounts revealing that they received a 16 per cent increase in their remuneration.

Unite regional officer Matt Allen added, “Our members are taking strike action as a last resort. It will cause considerable disruption to GE Aviation’s entire client base, but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making.

“Unite has made every attempt to resolve the dispute through negotiation but the company has been totally unprepared to make an offer which meets workers’ aspirations.

“Even at this late stage strikes could be avoided if the company makes an improved offer which meets members’ expectations and returns to the negotiating table.”

Meanwhile workers at GE’s subsidiary GE Steam in Rugby, Warwickshire are already taking industrial action in a dispute over a refusal to introduce flexible working and the company’s expectation that workers undertake new roles without extra pay.

By Barckley Sumner

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