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.”
DHL Supply Chain Ltd which owns DHL Services Ltd reported profits of £33.8 million for 2021. The ultimate owner of both companies is, Deutsch Post DHL group, which boasted profits of £1.86 billion for an ‘excellent opening quarter’ in 2022.
Unite regional coordinating officer, Susan Fitzgerald challenged DHL at Spirit on their refusal to share their success with their workforce.
“This dispute is a clear example of workers defending themselves against corporate greed. DHL is hugely profitable and it is only enriching further the shareholders of its owner Deutsch Post DHL Group.
“Workers at DHL Spirit are resolute. They know DHL workers on other Northern Ireland contracts are being offered more than what is on offer at Spirit. In Scotland, Unite workers at DHL recently won a double-digit pay increase. Why are DHL trying to short-change their workforce at Spirit Aerosystems?”
DHL Services workers on Spirit Aerosystem sites handle every part in production, from the rivets to the wings; they transport built parts between production lines and dispatch processed fuselage parts and to Spirit sites globally. The strike is likely to have a significant impact on production at all sites. Ms Fitzgerald said,
“The naked greed on display from DHL is not just threatening the incomes and living standards of its workers but is forcing a strike that will impact Spirit Aerosystems production. There’s a very easy way to avoid that outcome, and that is for bosses to come back to the table and meet our members’ pay claim.”