Unite wins pay award for Doncaster-based rail workers

Unite, the country's leading trade union has won a substantial pay award for more than 50 skilled workers at Lucchini Unipart Rail’s Doncaster factory.
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The workers, who were due to begin strike action this week, have called off all industrial action after a significant pay increase of eight per cent.

The workers, who overhaul locomotive bogies for clients, including Siemens and Hitachi, were angry about a 4.5 per cent pay offer for 2024 that came with ‘strings attached’ around pay banding and multi skilling arrangements.

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However, after intense negotiations, facilitated by ACAS on Thursday 28 March, immediately prior to the Easter long weekend, the company were forced to offer an increase of 8%. This only came about due to the immediate threat of strike action and members have voted to accept this latest offer.

Unite wins pay award for Doncaster-based rail workers.Unite wins pay award for Doncaster-based rail workers.
Unite wins pay award for Doncaster-based rail workers.

Lucchini Unipart Rail is partnership between the Unipart Group and Lucchini RS. Unipart’s latest financial report shows its profits increased 27.1 per cent in 2022 of £12.2 million. Lucchini RS latest financial report shows it made a net profit of €24.8 million in 2021.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This pay award for the skilled workers at Lucchini shows the real power of a union. Unite went into battle with a company making millions off the backs of its workforce and through our bargaining won a substantial and well-earned pay award for our members."

The workers were due to strike on 4, 5, 9 and 10 April. Strikes would have caused significant disruption to the company’s operations.

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Unite regional officer Debbie Wilkinson said: “Lucchini Unipart Rail’s clients, including Siemens & Hitachi Rail, would clearly not have been happy at the disruption these strikes would have caused them by the company’s refusal to put forward a reasonable offer.

"The threat of action was very real, and the strikes were not called off lightly, until we were sure an offer was tabled that our members would accept.”

She added: “The local reps involved in the negotiations and the members themselves were steadfast in their commitment to win a fair, 'no strings' pay rise and have achieved this”.

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