Strike action at Whirlpool’s Bristol tumble dryer factory has been called off after the company agreed to pay workers at least £10 an hour and offer long serving agency workers jobs, Unite said today (December 6).
The pay deal means that the lowest paid operators at the factory will receive a 13.75 per cent hourly rate increase of £1.25 to £10 an hour from January 1, while workers on higher pay rates will also see their hourly rate rise by a minimum of 11.5 per cent.
In addition, Whirlpool have promised that an agreement to take on agency workers who have worked full time at the factory for a number of years, as well as policies to end a number of unfair practices, will come into effect by the end of March 2020.
Unite membership at the factory has increased over recent years as the financial situation of the workforce became ever more untenable.
After Whirlpool offered an unsatisfactory pay rise of 1.25 per cent, more than 90 Unite members voted overwhelmingly for strike action that had been scheduled to take place on December 12 and January 6.
“This result was down to the solidarity and determination of our Whirlpool members, who were prepared to weather hardship over Christmas by striking for fair pay and a fair deal for their agency colleagues,” said Unite regional officer Ken Fish.
“Their victory is testament to the power workers have when they act collectively and stick together in a union and an inspiration to other struggling workers who want to organise and win.
“We look forward to working with Whirlpool in the future to help ensure the business goes from strength to strength.”