Thousands of Airbus workers at its factories in North Wales and Gloucestershire have voted to strike in a dispute over pay.
Around 3,000 employees, who are members of the Unite union, voted for strike action after the company refused to improve on what the union described as an “unacceptably low” pay offer for 2021.
It follows a pay freeze that was implemented in 2020, when many workers at the Broughton, Flintshire, plant also saw their hours cut in order to save jobs.
The employees are based at Airbus’ Broughton and Filton, Gloucestershire sites, which design, test and manufacture aircraft wings.
Ninety-four per cent of union members at these sites voted to strike, which could begin in March, on an 84% turnout.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This vote makes it abundantly clear that our members are totally dissatisfied with Airbus’ unacceptably low pay offer. Airbus needs to acknowledge that and table a sensible offer, one that amply reflects rising living costs, before this dispute escalates further.
“The deal simply does not reflect our members’ hard work and dedication, nor the sacrifices they have made over the last two years. There is no excuse – Airbus can well afford to pay its workers the decent rise they deserve and it should move to do so without delay.”
Unite national officer for aerospace, Rhys McCarthy, said: “In 2020, Airbus workers accepted a pay freeze and since then have worked extremely hard to get the company back on track as the country emerges from the pandemic.
“Now Airbus needs to step up and ensure they have a fair pay increase to help mitigate rocketing inflation and the rising cost of living. There is still time to avoid strike action but Airbus needs to table an offer our members can accept.”
Last month Airbus announced plans to hire 6,000 new staff in the first part of 2022.
It made deep cuts to its workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic, cutting more than 9,000 jobs globally including 1,700 in the UK.
Airbus has been contacted for comment.