Rolls Royce car workers win record pay deal

Strike threat helps secure biggest ever workers’ pay hike of 17.6 per cent.

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Unite’s new fight for jobs, pay and conditions wins bumper deal out of company’s bumper profits.

Around 1,200 workers at the iconic Rolls Royce Motor Cars at Goodwood, West Sussex, have won the largest single pay deal in the history of the plant, worth up to an inflation busting 17.6 percent.

It means a typical worker’s (Grade 3) pay will increase by £3,205 plus a one-off payment of £2,000.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a top notch pay deal for the Rolls Royce workforce. Rolls Royce Motor Cars are famous and iconic because of the workers’ craft and expertise. For years the workers had been underpaid and undervalued but that’s changing. The union has won the best pay deal since the site opened.”

“This is a testament to the organising efforts of the Unite reps at Goodwood. It’s also proof that our union’s laser sighted focus on jobs, pay and conditions is winning for workers.

Workers at Goodwood build some of the world’s most expensive luxury cars, including the Ghost, Wraith and Cullinan. Despite record sales the company had repeatedly denied the highly skilled workers a proper pay rise.

Under the leadership of Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham who was elected last year, with a renewed focus on jobs, pay and conditions, the workers mounted a campaign to secure a fairer share of the world famous car manufacturer’s profits.

Rolls Royce Motor Cars is owned by BMW which made €16.1 billion (£13.5bn) in the first half of 2022 alone.

The campaign included a 98% vote in favour of industrial action in a consultative ballot if the members’ mandate for a pay rise in line with the cost of living was not met. During the course of the campaign Unite’s membership saw a 70 per cent increase.

Following intensive negotiations with management a deal was negotiated, Over 80 per cent of workers at Goodwood took part in the ballot to accept the pay deal of 10 percent plus £2,000. The one year deal is worth between 14.8 per cent and 17.6 percent for the grades represented by Unite.

This win is the latest stage of an ongoing campaign to raise pay at Goodwood in line with union-recognised rates elsewhere in the premium sector.

The pay deal considerably closes the gap between workers at Rolls Royce and its competitor Aston Martin.

Unite regional coordinating officer Scott Kemp said, “Despite everything thrown at them, members showed the resolve needed to win this historic deal. For years workers at Goodwood have made the world’s most expensive cars while being paid the worst in the premium end of the industry. Goodwood is the so-called House of Luxury and its high time workers had their well-earned share of that reflected in their pay and conditions.”

By Ciaran Naidoo