Strike action likely to proceed at all Spirit sites unless management responds with a pay offer that protects workers from surging price rises
Unite the union, which represents the majority of workers at Spirit Aerosystems in Belfast, confirm that its members have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action in pursuit of a pay claim seeking an increase to protect workers’ living standards at a time of surging inflation.
85 percent of the union’s members voted in the ballot with a majority of 90 percent support for strike action and 95 percent for industrial action short of strike action.
The union will now set dates for strike action unless management responds with a pay offer that protects its workforce from the sharp increase in the cost of living.
Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham, welcomed the vote by her union’s members and committed her union’s full support for any strike action:
“The Spirit workers have spoken. This workforce is united in the fight for a proper pay increase. Unite stands behind our members as they prepare to strike to secure that objective.
“Spirit Aerosystems bosses made great play of the huge returns that they expect from the acquisition of Bombardier – they need to remember who it is that produces those profits. Our members will not be taken advantage of. And they will have the union’s full backing every step of the way until this is settled.”
Unite Regional Coordinating Officer, Susan Fitzgerald, congratulated workers on the result and called on management to respond with a serious pay offer:
“Today’s result involving thousands of workers is definitive proof of the determination of our members to secure a decent increase in pay. Our members will not watch as their standard of living is submerged by surging price inflation.
“Our members are struggling to heat their homes, workers are telling us that despite having a full time job they are now buying food in the reduced aisle, looking for yellow stickers. Yet they are told by the company that they are well paid”.
A union survey showed that 90% have seen a decrease in their household finance over the last two years while 62% have had to borrow to make ends meet. Ms Fitzgerald continued:
“The Spirit workers have made it clear that they are prepared to fight for better pay. Management now need to get serious and make a proper offer or we will be entering a serious industrial dispute.”