Thousands of workers at luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have agreed a pay deal worth up to 17.6%, trade union Unite said today, calling it the largest single pay deal in the history of the factory in England.
The pay settlement comes as workers across Britain and other European countries seek higher wages in response to soaring inflation caused in part by the rising cost of energy after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Unite said workers at the plant in Goodwood, West Sussex, had voted to accept a one-year deal expected to be worth between 14.8% and 17.6% for worker grades represented by the union.
The deal comprised a 10% pay increase and a one-off payment of £2,000 and will apply to 1,200 workers, Unite said. The package is one of the highest deals agreed by a workforce in Britain in recent months.
While some sectors in Britain have successfully negotiated wage increases, the country is currently gripped by widespread strikes affecting rail, health and postal services, amongst others.
Rolls-Royce, a unit of Germany's BMW, said in a statement it was pleased the union had recommended the deal to its members.
"A pay rise of 10% will be awarded to all those covered by our collective bargaining agreement from January 2023," it added.
In January the carmaker reported record high sales for 2021 while other corporate results this year show demand for luxury goods has held up as wealthier consumers are less affected by the rising bills and falling real wages that are hitting sales in many other areas of the economy.
Others in the auto sector across Europe are dealing with increased wage demands.
Volkswagen in late November agreed a two-year wage deal for workers at its western German factories, offering around 8.5% more pay, as well as a lump-sum payment worth €3,000 after tax.
Carmaker Stellantis has offered its French workers a 5.3% pay rise to cope with inflation.