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Ford cleaners win inflation-busting pay rise

CLEANERS at motor manufacturer Ford have won an inflation-busting pay rise of three per cent, Unite announced today.

The 150 cleaners are employed by contractor Hamton Environmental to work at Ford plants in Essex — Dagenham and Dunton and at the Dunton Technical Centre.

Along with the pay rise, backdated to January 1, the workers have won other improvements in pay and conditions including £25 a week extra for first-aiders, long-service awards and a new attendance bonus scheme.

Unite regional officer Matt Smith welcomed the pay rise for some of the lowest-paid workers in the automotive sector. 

He said: “Unite, with our Hamton reps, recommended this deal to our members for endorsement, which has been overwhelmingly accepted, following tough but constructive negotiations with the company.

“We are especially pleased as it included additional money for volunteer first-aiders and a new attendance bonus for employees which could see an employee with 100 per cent annual attendance rewarded with £500 extra pay.”

Mr Smith said that many of the cleaners had “stepped up to the plate” during the Covid-19 crisis and worked tirelessly so that much-needed ventilators for the NHS could be produced at Dagenham during the lockdown.

“We would certainly urge more employers to reward those prepared to save lives in the workplace, especially at this time,” he said. 

Mr Smith pointed out that coronavirus, uncertainty over leaving the European Union and the government’s “abject failure” to develop a comprehensive industrial strategy demonstrates the importance of trade union membership.

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