Unite winning for workers

From agency to aviation workers, Unite is fighting to secure the best results for our members

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Great news just in (April 21) has seen Unite save hundreds of Adecco agency workers from redundancy at world-renowned luxury car manufacturer Bentley Motors.


Earlier this month, around 200 agency workers based at Bentley’s site in Crewe were told they were being made redundant by Adecco, while the car manufacturer began temporarily ceasing production because of the coronavirus health crisis.


Fierce intervention

But a fierce intervention from Unite reversed Adecco’s decision and the agency workers have now been put into the government’s job retention scheme on 80 per cent of their pay.


“A soon as Unite was informed that Adecco was planning to make workers redundant, the union exerted maximum pressure and we are very pleased the employment agency has now agreed to use the government’s furlough scheme,” reported Unite regional officer, Julie Burgess.


“In these unprecedented times it’s imperative that employers behave responsibly and use the government’s scheme wherever possible. Because these agency workers had union recognition, Unite was able to intervene and negotiate a fairer outcome,” she added.


Plastic fantastic

And there’s more good news for Warrington-based Plastic Omnium workers as they are furloughed on 100 per cent pay thanks to Unite.


Under the job retention scheme, workers can receive 80 per cent of their wages from the government up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Unite welcomed the agreement with the vehicle components supplier in which Plastic Omnium  will meet the cost of an additional 20 per cent for around 150 full-time workers to bring them up to 100 per cent of pay.


“This is an excellent deal for the workforce at Plastic Omnium in Warrington which supplies JLR in Halewood,” commented Unite regional officer Julie Burgess. “It shows what’s possible where there is a strong union in the workplace and a company that is prepared to take their responsibilities to staff seriously.”


Fast track furlough payment to save jobs call

Meanwhile in the UK’s aviation sector Unite is calling on the government to fast-track an initial furlough payment for workers operating flights for Norwegian airline to save jobs.


On April 20 it was announced that some of the European subsidiaries of low-cost airline Norwegian were entering into administration. While this does not apply to the UK operation the company also simultaneously terminated its arrangements with employment agency OSM, which employs around 1,200 workers on Norwegian’s UK operations.


Unite has already held meetings with OSM, which says it’s committed to preserving jobs but in order to do so it needs to receive a furlough payment from the government this week before its monthly pay date (April 25) to pay the workers and avoid facing further uncertainty.


OSM and Unite believe that provided the workers are successfully paid under the furlough regime, jobs can be preserved for the long-term with a substantial base being retained at Gatwick airport.


Work is currently being undertaken in Norwegian’s host country of Norway to restructure the business. Provided this is successful, the UK operation will be viable once the pandemic crisis has ended.


“Unite is working closely with OSM to preserve jobs and to ensure that there is a sustainable base for Norwegian at Gatwick airport in the long-term,” Unite regional officer Claire Simpson said.


“The aviation sector has been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic but it can and will have a viable future provided it gets the immediate support from the government.


“Norwegian is a core part of Gatwick airport and securing the long-term future of these workers is vital for the airports long term well-being and the prosperity of the local economy,” she added.


  • To find out more about Unite’s Work Voice Pay campaign see here  

Compiled by Amanda Campbell @amanda_unite


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