HGV driver pay – Unite the union secures multiple above inflation pay deals

The UK’s Unite trades union has announced a series of successes in getting HGV drivers significant pay rises through a range of employers, according to national newspaper reports.

Amongst its other wins, it secured a 20% pay ride for 39 HGV drivers at a Wiltshire transport hub, 17.% pay rise for 24 Liverpool tanker drivers and a pay rise to £15 an hour for 90 Argos drivers in the North West. Heinz, Sainsbury’s and other major firms have separately offered above-inflation pay rises to their HGV drivers thanks to work by Unite. Unite drivers at the BMW Mini plant in Oxford were offered a 27% pay rise over two years.

This comes after union members elected a new general secretary, Sharon Graham, to head the union. She set up a ‘crack team’ to focus on HGV driver pay issues, which includes a team of specialist negotiators to settle strikes or threatened industrial action.

Ms Graham said: “These results are an excellent reflection of how the union intends to focus all its energy and willpower in the future on fighting for jobs, pay and conditions for our members. It’s early days but the special unit I set up is already beginning to bear fruit.”

A range of factors have impacted HGV driver numbers that were already at near crisis point prior to the pandemic and Brexit thanks to low pay and very poor working conditions. The UK government has consistently refused to listen to industry bodies like the Road Haulage Association and Logistics UK, and only mass union action in recent months combined with the supply chain crisis has started to turn the situation around for both HGV drivers and their employers.