Unite members employed by Mears in Manchester are celebrating victory after they reached agreement to end their marathon strike action in a dispute over pay parity.

The 180 members, who were employed by Manchester Mears and Manchester Working (a joint venture company operated by Mears), took over 80 days of strike action beginning in May 2017 before an agreement was reached.

Workers at both organisations were being paid up to £3,500 less than colleagues for undertaking the same work. The workers undertake repairs and maintenance on 11,000 council properties managed by Northwards Housing, although the contracts are tendered by Manchester council.

The deal to end the dispute which has been overwhelmingly backed by the membership will generally see across the board pay increases of 20 per cent.
The deal also included:

  • Equalisation of pay within and across trade groups
  • Parity of pay with similar organisations in the sector
  • The removal of the so-called ‘sackers’ charter’ which would have resulted in adverse changes to the workers’ contracts.

The final deal was reached following detailed negotiations with both Mears and Manchester council.

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Andy Fisher said: “This is a victory for solidarity and direct action. Our members have stuck together through thick and thin.

“There were those who said these contracts were so broken they could not be fixed, but Unite has proved them wrong.

“This dispute would not have been won without the total support of Unite, which is able to fully support its members when they had no option but to take strike action.

“The strike has brought the workforce closer together as a workforce and who will be primed to push back against the employer if fresh industrial relations issues develop in the future.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.