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Solidarity stories

Union member wins and how they did it.

Standing together and taking action together works. Unions have always known that and it’s as true today as it ever was.

Here are just a few of the many union win stories that we’ve been involved with lately.

UNISON reps extract a great pay deal for staff at the National Coal Mining Museum

"The employers offered us less than half of what we’d asked for and claimed this was the maximum they were allowed to pay because of a government-imposed cap of 5% for civil servants.” Read Rianne's story

Bumper pay rise for Camden's traffic wardens

"This is a huge win for our members. After eight weeks of strikes they have finally been offered a proper pay deal. It works out as an 18.1% pay increase, or a £5k rise in this year alone." Read Liz's story

A better deal for retail workers going through the menopause 

“As part of our pay claim every year, we obviously always have the pay element, but we also put forward consultative issues as part of the claim. We wanted to discuss the menopause and how people going through the menopause should be treated at work.” Read Jane's story

Light at the end of the tunnel for St Mungo’s workers

Hundreds of workers employed by homelessness charity St Mungo’s – represented by Unite the union – have just ended their long-running strike after accepting an inflation beating pay increase. Read Jacob's story.

Eurostar staff on the right track for a great pay deal

Railway workers on Eurostar have secured a great pay deal following negotiations between the RMT union and management. Read Primrose's story

Manufacturing a great pay win for Glen Dimplex workers 

Community National Officer for Light Industries, Gavin Miller, spoke to the TUC about the Prescot site’s recent pay claim – and their win! Read Gavin's story

"Scotland’s oldest cinema wins union recognition for first time"

In search of clarity on issues with hours, contracts and pay - cinema workers Katie and Euan took inspiration from a local Unite organiser and together with their colleagues, pushed for union recognition at Glasgow Film Theatre. Read Katie and Euan's story

“Support from the TUC’s Solidarity Hub turbo-charged our campaign” 

When management offered their staff at Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) a 3.25% pay rise they weren’t impressed. PCS members voted with their feet and took prolonged strike action to secure a much better deal for all the team. Read Claire's story

"From the beginning this was about staff having a choice"

When senior management decided it wanted to save costs, workers at Magenta were forced into an impossible decision: start working with asbestos or for short-term contract and apprentices risk losing your job. They decided to take action. Read Dave's story

coca cola

"Stand up for yourselves, together in this cost of living crisis and fight for what you’re worth"

Workers at Coca Cola in Wakefield were facing a real-terms pay cut. Despite record profits of £1.85 billion in the last year, the company clearly had no intention of sharing the rewards with its employees. Hundreds of workers at the plant decided it was time to fight for their fair share. Read Chris's story


"We had solidarity messages from control rooms and fire stations across the country" 

Back in September 2022, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service had announced plans to scrap its entire control operation on money saving grounds. In response to the announcement, FBU fire control members launched their campaign to fight back. Read Val's story here

“It’s great to see our work having an impact beyond our own employer”

Davina Lambie, a physiotherapist and union rep for the CSP union, was part of a team of three reps who secured the right for staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust to be able to wear shorts to work in hot weather, including her manager Tazivei (pictured). Read Davina's story here

“We prepared for this like gearing up for a football match. We had our game plan, we had rehearsed our moves, and we were ready with stories of case studies that spoke to every element of our claim.” 

Three Equity union reps, Hywel Morgan, Lizzie Cooper and Joe Richardson, tell the story of how they won a fair deal for their members in the West End. Read their story.

"My main advice when in pay negotiations is – hang on in there. Stand your ground"

Steve O’Sullivan, 61, is a Unison rep at the Canal and River Trust. He recently helped secure an 8.2% pay rise (which included and interim rise of 4% in July 2022) for the 1,700 Canal and River Trust staff. Read Steve's story

"I just want to show other people there’s power in union."

Joanne Thompson, an outsourced hospital cleaner from Blackpool tells the story of how she won pay parity with NHS colleagues.
Read Joanne's story.

“It was blood, sweat and tears to get a deal on the table.”

Tim Collins from the Aintree Jacob's Cream cracker factory tells the story of 11 weeks of strike action standing up to bulling and intimidation from management to fight for better pay. Read Tim's story

“This group of workers has for too long been undervalued."

Alex Vernon speaks to Dan Smith and Wendy Guest from UNISON to find out more about the hard-fought campaign for health care assistants pay in Greater Manchester. Read Alex's story

“I’d felt burned out, unheard, mistreated. Now, hope was giving me a newfound energy.”

Nuria describes working on the frontline of social care – and how she helped secure the Living Wage for thousands of support workers across Greater Manchester. Read Nuria's story.


Seven steps to strike success

After years of discontent, it was the punishing combination of Covid in 2020 and the soaring cost of living in 2021 that finally led Gary Walker and 67 of his CHEP co-workers to the picket line. We talked to Gary about what made the strike a success. Read Gary's story

“Equity will fight for you. I’m proof of that.”

Joanne worked through the pandemic in a key role at Phoenix Dance Theatre, only to be 'laid-off' while the company took a break to 'restructure'.  With the support of Equity, a Megaphone petition and a noisy protest outside Phoenix HQ - Joanne and her colleagues got their jobs back. Read Joanne's story

Victory for bus driver who lost job for being 'too short'

Tracey Scholes was the first woman driver at the Queens Road bus depot in Manchester. After 34 years of service, she was sacked by Go North West for being too short to see her mirrors properly. Public outrage, a massive Megaphone petition and a media storm followed – and Tracey got her job back. Read Tracey's story

After 18 years at Clarks, union rep Trevor Stephens led 140 workers out on strike

"Clarks said if we couldn’t agree to the new T&Cs, they would ‘disengage to reengage’. We called this fire and rehire! We did an official ballot which came back around 96% positive for industrial action with a strike – one of the highest rates we’d ever had." Read Trevor's story

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