On 01 February, and following weeks of negotiations with the aircraft manufacturer, the Unite trade union announced that its members working at the Airbus site in Broughton, Wales, had voted in favor of a management proposal to reduce working hours with a corresponding reduction in salaries. Employees finally agreed to a reduction in their weekly working hours of between 5% and 10% for a limited period of up to a year. The loss of salary was estimated at approximately 6.6%. This arrangement will come into effect when the government’s short-time working scheme ends, which it has currently set as 30 April 2021. The objective for both Unite and Airbus is to avoid layoffs and to put a plan in place where full time work resumes as soon as the pandemic ends. “Whilst it is not ideal that our members have had to commit to a shorter working week, this decision should be viewed against the background of an unprecedented crisis in global aviation. This solution to the crisis faced by Airbus is one that could be deployed to other manufacturing sites across Wales in order to avoid large-scale redundancies. These unprecedented times require creative solutions,” said Peter Hughes, Unite Wales Regional Secretary. “This is a short term measure that will protect highly skilled jobs at Broughton, including the fourth year apprentices who are looking for a long term future with Airbus. Coronavirus has been devastating for the aerospace sector and the past year has been extremely difficult for the site, after losing almost 1,000 jobs through voluntary redundancy todays result is extremely welcome for all our members,” added Daz Reynolds, a Unite Convenor at Airbus. Approximately 6,000 people are employed at this plant.
Great Britain: Airbus employees agree a reduction in working hours and salaries in order to avoid layoffs
Planet Labor, 2 February 2021, n°12344 - www.planetlabor.com