Unite wins of the year - Worksop B&Q pay victory

On the second day of Christmas, UniteLive looks back at a Worksop B&Q workers securing massive 10.75% pay rise

Reading time: 4 min

2022 has been the year of Unite wins – under general secretary Sharon Graham, Unite has had more victories in the workplace than it can count. As part of our special 12 days of Christmas series, UniteLive looks back at a handful of the many wins we’ve had in every month throughout the year.

Today, we reflect on a key win in February.

Strikes at B&Q’s national distribution centre in Worksop came to an end in February after Wincanton workers accepted a pay deal worth 10.75 per cent.

The deal, negotiated by Unite, meant the 450 Wincanton employees returned to work at the site after having been on strike since November.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Our members at Wincanton in Worksop have achieved an amazing result because, with the strength of their union behind them, they refused to back down.

“For workers wanting to know how they can improve their jobs, pay and conditions in these increasingly difficult times, they should look no further than Unite’s members at Wincanton whose solidarity during the strike was key to this win.”

The one year pay deal meant the warehouse workers will receive 6.75 per cent backdated to July as well as recognition and bonus payments, which means the workers will receive the equivalent of a 10.75 per cent pay rise.

Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands, Paresh Patel, added, “This pay rise was achieved because our members turned up day after day on the picket line and held strong.

“It is a result that will surely stick in the throat of Worksop MP Brendan Clarke-Smith, who told our members they would be better off cancelling their Unite membership and accepting the original deal of four per cent. It wasn’t Brendan Clarke-Smith or the Tories who stood up for decent working class people in Bassetlaw, it was Unite the union.”

Unite convenor Patrick McGrath told UniteExtra earlier this year that he was thrilled by the win.

“Before the majority of people would say well ‘I don’t get into trouble, I don’t need the union’,” he explained. “I think the dispute has been an eye opener. I’ve got people ringing me up and saying ‘when’s that branch meeting?’ who never used to attend at all. That’s great because every year now I want to be getting my members a decent pay rise and that requires everyone to pull together.”

You can read an in-depth account of this key win in our most recent edition of UniteExtra here.

Stay tuned for more Unite wins tomorrow.

By UniteLive team