Cleaners who are working for Mitie Cleaning and Environmental Services at Manchester Airport and who are members of the trade union Unite, are to receive an annual £850 pay rise and increased rates of pay for the festive season.
The pay deal, which was announced on 1 November 2017, will ensure that employees who were on the statutory national minimum wage rate of £7.50 an hour will maintain a £0.50 differential, even if the minimum wage rate rises next year. This will amount to an extra £850 in pay a year. In addition, Manchester Airport’s 200 Mitie employed cleaners will also receive double time wage rates for working over Christmas and the new year.
As part of the new pay agreement, Mitie Cleaning and Environmental Services has committed to join more pay discussions with Unite in January 2018, and explore the possibility of a night premium for cleaners based at Manchester Airport.
The pay deal is a result of negotiations after Mitie Cleaning and Environmental Services’ staff who are Unite members gave notice for a campaign of nine strikes earlier this month. The industrial action was originally scheduled to begin with a 24-hour strike today (3 November 2017), while the final strike was proposed to run for 26 days between 18 December 2017 and 12 January 2018.
On a turnout of 73%, 100% of the Unite members who balloted in September 2017 voted in favour of industrial action over the pay dispute. The industrial action was to campaign for a pay increase above the current voluntary living wage rate of £8.45 an hour for UK employees, as well as for an extra £1 an hour backdated to April 2016.
Employees who were due to take part in the strike action had previously rejected a revised pay offer made by the cleaning organisation, on the basis that the amended offer did not go far enough to address the pay issue and that the offer did not apply to all employees. Unite stated that many employees had already undergone a two-year pay freeze, and that the revised previous offer would have confirmed a third-year pay freeze for a significant proportion of affected employees.
Jimmy Carter, regional officer at Unite, said: “Cleaners at Manchester Airport have called off industrial action after negotiations delivered a much improved pay deal from Mitie. The extra money will help [employees] with the basics like food, bills and rent plus there is a commitment for more pay talks in the new year. Keeping Britain’s third busiest airport clean is hard work and double pay for those working over Christmas and the new year is an extra boost for the festive season.”
A spokesperson from Mitie added: “Mitie is continuing to actively engage with Unite in respect of our workforce at Manchester Airport. We are fully committed to ensuring the continuity and delivery of cleaning services at Manchester Airport.”