Workplace Report June 2007

Bargaining news

Holiday pay win delivers £1.2 million

The Amicus section of the Unite general union has resolved a long battle over holiday pay at Bombardier Shorts aircraft factories in Northern Ireland. The union has secured £1.2 million compensation for over 2,000 members who had lost out on holiday pay.

An industrial tribunal ruled in 2001 that Bombardier Shorts had, since 1995, been underpaying its workers due to the change in the way it calculated holiday pay entitlement. However, the company went back on an agreement with the union to implement the 2001 tribunal decision for all pre-1995 employees.

When the union instructed its lawyers to take Shorts to the High Court for breach of contract, the company finally agreed to negotiate to settle the members' claims.

Unite (Amicus section) regional secretary Peter Williamson said the company must now make an average payout of £600 with some employees expected to receive significantly more.

* Unite (Amicus section) cabin crew at Monarch Airlines voted earlier this month to accept a revised two-year pay deal. The settlement provides for increases on basic rates and allowances linked to the RPI in both years. It also revises the holiday pay calculation to include taxable allowances, which means an additional £157 a year.

The union now wants to get commission included in holiday pay as well. "We ... have now set in motion a collective employment tribunal claim, which if successful could double the £157 we have already established," said national officer Brian Boyd.