In Hartlepool, a significant labor dispute has reached a conclusive end as over 180 workers at TMD Friction, a key supplier of brake components to automobile manufacturers, have ceased strike actions. This development comes after the labor union Unite successfully negotiated an 11% pay raise over two years for its members employed at the facility.
The industrial action, which saw participation swell from 150 to over 180 individuals by the month’s end, began in early January. The resolution was achieved when workers agreed to a deal proposing a 7.5% pay increase retroactive to June 2023, followed by an additional 3.5% starting June of the current year.
Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, praised the resolve of the members, stating, “Our members at TMD Friction would not be moved and their determination on the picket line secured a vastly improved pay offer.” She emphasized the union’s dedication to enhancing jobs, pay, and working conditions, heralding the agreement as a victory for labor rights.
A notable aspect of the agreement includes a provision for a pay review in January 2025, should inflation exceed 5% in June 2024. Furthermore, should any employee at the Hartlepool site, not covered by the Unite bargaining unit, receive a higher pay increase during the term of the agreement, Unite members are guaranteed to receive the difference, ensuring parity among workers.
Mike Routledge, a regional officer for Unite, commended the unity and determination of the representatives and members at TMD Friction, highlighting the successful negotiation as a testament to the strength of collective bargaining. He also used the occasion to encourage more workers to join Unite, linking membership with the potential for better wages and improved working conditions. This resolution not only marks the end of the strike but also sets a precedent for future labor negotiations within the industry.
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