Planned strike action by Unite, the UK’s largest union, for today (Tuesday 29 May) concerning workers operating on Staffline Recruitment contracts, at the Pirelli tyre factory in Carlisle, has been cancelled following a breakthrough in negotiations. 

Zero hours contract 

The workers were operating on a ‘contract for services’ arrangement which was effectively a zero hours contract which denied them the vast majority of normal employment rights. 

Unite has negotiated that the workers will now be employed on permanent contracts, some of which will be with a new employer who will take over a portion of the existing contract. The workers will receive a five per cent pay increase which is backdated to 1 January 2018 and in future will receive average holiday pay when taking all of their annual leave. 

Excellent Result 

Unite regional officer, Malcolm Carruthers, said: “This is an excellent result for workers who were being treated very poorly and demonstrates what can be achieved by making a collective stand against workplace mistreatment. 

“There was absolutely no justification for workers who were effectively being employed on a permanent basis, to be on contracts that do not reflect the hours they were expected to work and which were deliberately designed to deny them employment rights. 

“Additionally, Unite has ensured workers receive a significant pay increase and improvements to holiday pay. 

“When tackling the problems faced by workers in similar employment conditions to those at Staffline, Unite will be using the successful outcome of this dispute as an example of what can be achieved.” 


Notes to editors: 

Workers at Staffline begin ballot in pay dispute

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

  • 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.