Collins Aerospace remains profitable despite aerospace downturn and can afford to pay workers more
After a second rejection by the workforce of the latest below-inflation pay offer from management, Unite confirmed that it was proceeding to ballot workers on strike action at the Kilkeel-based Aerospace manufacturer.
With the latest 12-month inflation measured by the retail price index surging to 7.5 percent, workers at the Collins Aerospace are seeking a pay deal that protects their households from a crunching reduction in living conditions.
Unite’s General Secretary Sharon Graham warned the employer:
“After the latest rejection of an inadequate, below-inflation pay offer, Unite is preparing to ballot workers at Collins Aerospace for strike action. To avoid unnecessary and damaging industrial action, management must reconsider their approach and address our members’ pay demand, especially given the looming cost of living crisis affecting every worker.
“These workers deserve and expect a pay offer that recognises their commitment and dedication over recent months.
Collins Aerospace is owned by B/E Aerospace which is part of the hugely successful Raytheon Technologies Corporation. Collins delivered a strong performance in the latest quarter (Q4 2021) with sales up 13 percent and commercial aftermarket sales up 47 percent on the equivalent figures for Q4 2020. Operating profit for the company was $1.8 billion in 2021 – 22 percent higher than it was in 2020.
Kieran Ellison, Regional Officer for Unite and official for workers at Collins Aerospace highlighted that while management were offering workers a below-inflation pay increase – directors’ remuneration had increased dramatically.
“Despite the Covid shock across the Aerospace sector, this remains a profitable and successful company. It is certainly one which can offer its workers a decent pay increase. The latest accounts show that pay for one Director alone in 2020 was more than $220k – and that’s without including pension payments. Workers are questioning why senior directors can be paid so much when they do all the hard work and receive so little.
“Unite is in advanced preparation to run a strike ballot of our members at Collins. That will proceed in a matter of days unless management make a significantly improved offer – one that meets our members’ expectations.”