Strike by DHL Services workers set to commence at Spirit Aerosystems next Monday

Workers vote with 84 percent majority for strike action, rejecting insulting 4 percent pay offer when inflation is running at almost 12 percent

Industrial action of DHL workers will impact production at all Spirit Aerosystems sites in Northern Ireland

Unite the union which represents workers employed by DHL Services at Spirit Aerosystems has confirmed a first, one-week strike is set to commence on Monday [August 15] at sites across Northern Ireland.

Unite members working for DHL Services at Spirit Aerosystems voted with an 84 percent ballot majority for strike action after rejecting an inadequate pay offer from management. The offer provided only a four percent increase to consolidated pay – far below the current rate of inflation (RPI) which has surged to 11.8 percent with the cost of living crisis [See editor’s note below].

DHL workers elsewhere in Northern Ireland have received higher pay offers than those working on the Spirit-Aerosystems contract; recently Unite members at DHL Services in Scotland won a double-digit improved pay offer.

General secretary of Unite, Sharon Graham, expressed her support for the union’s DHL members:

“At a time when inflation is running at 11.8 percent and is set to rise to almost 18 percent before the end of the year – a four percent offer is an insult. If the government inflation forecasts are correct, it will leave workers’ real incomes almost 14 percent lower going forward. That’s a huge deterioration to living standards.

“The DHL Services workers at Spirit Aerosystems can count on the full support of their union in the fight to secure an improved pay increase. Only through union organisation and a readiness to take strike action can we improve jobs, pay and conditions.”

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Feet on the street needed at The People’s Kitchen march and demonstration over rising death toll among Belfast homeless

The campaign of Regina Coeli House workers continues

What: March and Demonstration for action on homeless crisis

When: 2pm Saturday 23 July 2022

Where: Demonstration gathering point at 1 Antrim Road, Belfast with march to City Hall.

Unite the union is lending its support to a demonstration and march in Belfast called by The People’s Kitchen and a wider coalition of homeless charities in response to the recent spate of deaths on the streets. The initiative has been taken to demand action after the death of a second young women on the streets of the city in a week. The tragic death brings to 15 the total deaths of homeless people.

Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald pledged Unite’s support for the initiative and linked government inaction on homelessness to the union’s campaign at Regina Coeli House.

“Unite members working at Regina Coeli House Hostel conducted a twelve-week occupation and work-in in an attempt to save the facility and the unique service it offered vulnerable women from across Northern Ireland. They ended that occupation after receiving assurances from Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and NI Housing Executive Chief Executive Officer Grainia Long that an enhanced and expanded replacement facility providing the same support and services would be available in May. Unfortunately those pre-election promises have not materialised. Sadly now we are witnessing the human cost with more and more lives lost including the devastating loss of two young women on the streets of Belfast in recent days. 

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Unite calls on DHL supply chain workforce at Spirit Aerosystems to vote for industrial action over threatened real terms pay cut

Industrial action at DHL would paralyse production at Spirit sites in Northern Ireland

Unite the union which represents workers employed by DHL supply chain working at Spirit Aerosystems sites in Northern Ireland is calling on its members to vote for industrial action in an ongoing strike ballot. 

The ballot was initiated by the union after management offered the vast majority of its members a meagre four percent consolidated pay increase – alongside a one off cash payment. Unite officials branded the move a real-terms pay cut and encouraged workers to vote for industrial action as the only appropriate response.

Unite regional coordinating officer, Susan Fitzgerald encouraged union members at DHL Supply Chain at Spirit to vote for industrial action:

“Far from being a meaningful pay offer, this is little more than a threat to workers. Once you strip out the one-off cash inducement, bosses are demanding workers accept a real-terms pay cut of more than seven percent. With the cost of living crisis set to only worsen, our members need a fully consolidated pay increase that protects them and their families from poverty.”

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E&I Engineering statement

On various dates between 10 November 2020 and 1 May 2021, Unite the Union (“Unite”) made or permitted to be made a series of allegations about E&I Engineering Limited (“E&I”) and its senior management team. Those allegations were published in letters sent to key customers, suppliers and business partners of E&I, online and in pamphlets handed out to E&I’s staff. Those allegations were that E&I and its senior management team were responsible for bullying of employees, persistently treating them with a lack of dignity and respect, and for using a pay grading system which was unfair.

We accept that there was no truth in any of these allegations which should not have been made. We unreservedly apologise to E&I’s senior management team for any and all reputational damage which these allegations may have caused.

As a result of the above, Unite has agreed to pay damages and legal costs and furthermore has agreed that it will not repeat or further publish these allegations as referred to above.

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How many more have to die on the streets before Communities Minister and Housing Executive deliver on promises for supported accommodation for women?

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and NI Housing Executive Chief Executive Grainia Long are ‘dodging’ Unite’s requests for a meeting on issue

Former Regina Coeli House worker challenges Legion of Mary to make old building available as a hostel for vulnerable women

Following the reported death of a young homeless woman [Thursday, July 14] on the streets of Belfast, Unite the union has demanded Stormont deliver on promises to provide ‘enhanced and expanded’ women-only supported accommodation. The commitment was made by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey before elections in response to a twelve-week work-in and occupation by employees opposing the closure of Regina Coeli House – which was at that time Northern Ireland’s sole women-only supported-accommodation. 

The commitment was for new, women-only supported accommodation to be opened by the NI Housing Executive (NIHE) by May 2022. Following failure to meet the May deadline, Unite has continued to demand a meeting with Minister Deirdre Hargey and NIHE Chief Executive Grania Long on the issue but as yet no date has been offered.

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