Strike action was averted and an agreement reached with MMD Shipping Ltd after ongoing negotiations between UNISON and the employer resulted in a much-improved offer to members.
For the last year, UNISON has been in discussion with MMD management to find changes in working practices that would improve MMD’s financial stability. The initial proposal by MMD to move Dock Operatives onto annualised hours was successfully fought off by UNISON and the employer introduced a more favourable shift pattern. This did however result in increased flexibility of start times and saw significant cuts in pay.
Negotiations with MMD management broke down this summer and the employer issued new contracts to staff on the basis of dismissal and re-engagement. A strike ballot was taken, members began preparations for strike action and the media were informed.
In the run-up to the strike, talks were re-established in order to come to a collective agreement. As the dialogue with management became more constructive and more information was shared by management, an improved offer was established which helped to restore pay levels and offer more reasonable arrangements on flexibility:
- Increase in basic salary offered within new contracts
- Pay rise of 3% for 2017/18
- Pay rise in line with CPI for year 2018/19
- Lump sum payment
- Profit share/productivity scheme for all staff to be developed with UNISON for introduction in Year 2018/19
- Paid 20 minute breaks restored to new contracts
- Night shift overtime rate restored to new contracts
- Re-introduction of fairer overtime roster
- Permanent change of location clause removed
UNISON members voted overwhelmingly to accept the new offer and provided a mandate to UNISON to come to a collective agreement. This deal should stabilise MMD’s financial situation, provide greater job security and compensate members for the major changes they will see to basic pay and conditions.
James Smith, regional organiser said
“This deal is mutually beneficial as it offers financial security to the company along with job security to its employees. UNISON has negotiated the best possible settlement to protect members’ pay and conditions at a time when staff employment contracts and working practices are due to change radically.”
Chris Pickett, jointbranch secretary at UNISON Portsmouth City said
“We look forward to continued open and constructive discussions with management and hopefully MMD will go from strength to strength. We would like to thank our workplace representatives for enabling a resolution to be attained on this issue- they consistently and accurately reflected the views of our membership at MMD throughout the discussions.”