Unite the union, First Minister and deputy First Minister, along with First Ministers of Scotland and Wales, issue joint call for ‘urgent intervention’ by Prime Minister Johnson to save aerospace jobs and skills

Jackie Pollock, Unite Regional Secretary

Devolved authorities and unions issue joint demand for creation of a UK Aerospace Taskforce

Jackie Pollock Regional Secretary of Unite was signatory to a letter involving the leaders of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland devolved authorities to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, demanding for ‘urgent intervention’ by the UK Government to preserve highly-skilled jobs in the aerospace sector.

The Unite initiative has brought together both Executive office Ministers, Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill, Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford, and the leaders of the trade union in each respective region. The letter calls for the immediate establishment of a UK Aerospace Taskforce in order that government, business and trade unions collectively work together to support businesses, workers and communities. 

In July, Unite commissioned a report by Acuity Analysis on the threat posed to Aerospace following a spate of redundancies in the sector in Northern Ireland.

The joint letter acknowledges that it is estimated that it will take three to five years for the sector to return to ‘pre-crisis levels’ and that urgent intervention by the UK Government is essential because the magnitude of intervention required is not within the power of the devolved institutions.

Jackie Pollock, Unite Regional Secretary in Ireland, added:

“Unite is delighted to bring together the Leaders of the Devolved Administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, in a joint initiative to safeguard jobs in the aerospace sector. Tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs and those supported by the aerospace sector in the supply-chain are on the brink of being lost forever. We are only six weeks away from a cliff-edge to the government’s Coronavirus jobs retention scheme which raises the prospect of job-losses on a devastating scale.

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Mechanical workers secure agreement with employers following threat of industrial action

Agreement also sends signal to non-mechanical employers

September 18th: Unite, which represents mechanical workers throughout Ireland, today (Friday) said that unions have secured an agreement with employers in the MEBSCA section of the CIF which will ensure payment of agreed pay increases due from September 1st.  These increases will be backdated where appropriate.  Last week, many employers had failed to pay the increases due under a collective agreement.  Unite and Connect conducted protective ballots in which members voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in the event that any employer failed to pay the agreed increases.  Similar increases fall due in the wider construction sector on October 1st.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:

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Unite Registered Childminders welcome Education Minister agreement of 100% plus uplift in financial support

Uplift on support provided has been achieved by powerful campaign fought by Registered Childminders but more is needed to secure future of vital sector

Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer

Suzi Douglas, Chair of Unite Registered Childminders’ branch, welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the Education Minister Peter Weir that financial support granted during July and August would retrospectively increase by an additional £300 but called on Stormont to do more for struggling operators in the childcare sector.

“Over the last months Unite members have relentlessly campaigned for fairness and it has paid off!  We have managed, alongside  NICMA (Northern Ireland Childminding Association), to get the Department of Education to seriously consider our joint evidence-based, business case seeking enhanced financial assistance.’

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MEBSCA employers issued with notice of industrial action

Employers deemed in breach of collective agreement

September 15th:  During a meeting today (Tuesday) between mechanical employers represented by MEBSCA-CIF and the MEBSCA unions Unite and Connect, at which employers refused to commit to paying the 2.7 % pay increase which fell due on September 1st under the MEBSCA collective agreement, unions issued employers with notice of industrial action.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:

“The refusal by employers to commit to paying the agreed wage increase places them in breach of the MEBSCA collective agreement.  Unions therefore had no choice but to issue employers with notice of industrial action.

“It is now up to the employers to resolve this dispute by paying their workers the agreed pay increases which fell due on September 1st.  Otherwise, they will face an autumn of determined industrial action”, Mr Fitzgerald concluded.

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Translink proposals for 54 compulsory redundancies points to urgent need for increased funding of public transport

Unite will seek to use consultation period to fight for every job, ensure retention of all rural routes and those servicing deprived urban communities

Davy Thompson, Deputy Regional Secretary

Westminster needs to get real on sector-specific supports for Northern Ireland’s economy

Unite Deputy Regional Secretary Davy Thompson responded to the public announcement that Translink was seeking 54 potential compulsory redundancies.

“Today’s announcement that Translink is potentially seeking 54 compulsory redundancies and a withdrawal from Ulsterbus Tours will come as concerning news to the entire workforce. This is the first time in living memory that we face the threat of compulsory redundancies in Translink and reflects the particular challenges posed by the Covid pandemic against the backdrop of the long-term underfunding of public transport.

“Unite will enter consultation with Translink on this proposal with the aim of fighting for every job and countering the ripple effects that are likely to arise from the decision to withdraw from Ulsterbus Tours. We wish to make clear at the outset that our engagement is predicated on no impact to the provision of rural services or socially-vital services to deprived urban communities.

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