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BMW workers get a proper job for Christmas

Unite secures 1,000 permanent contracts for temporary workers

Christmas came early for a thousand BMW agency workers yesterday after the Unite union wrapped up a deal for permanent contracts with bosses.

Seven hundred agency workers will be given the good news in the next week and handed the contracts in the new year. 

Three hundred more will be recruited into the company by 2016. 

They will trade in zero-hour contracts for guaranteed job security beyond 2020 sick pay, holidays, a pension and the chance to own a new car.

Unite described it as the best gift for stretched families and said it showed the union makes a “positive impact” in workplaces. 

National officer Roger Maddison said: “In an uncertain world the best Christmas present for working families is job security.

“It’s difficult as an agency worker to get a mortgage, a loan for anything, get a credit card and do so many things. 

“Just by having ‘permanent’ written on their contract that changes overnight.”

The boost was finally sealed last Friday following months of negotiations between union reps and Munich-based BMW bosses. 

And Mr Maddison said the deal discredited recent attacks on Unite and proved that “unions do good things.”

He told the Star: “We took an awful lot of stick from Ineos and the blame for potentially costing 800 jobs” at the Grangemouth oil refinery.

“We all know the truth about that but the Tory, right-wing press didn’t want to play it that way.

“This is what Unite does up and down the country on a day-to-day basis. 

“It is a prime example of unions and employers working together to make a lasting and positive impact in the workplace.”

It also comes after BMW announced it will invest £760 million into plants in Britain to produce the new Mini hatch. 

Workers at all four of the company’s British plants will benefit but the majority of contracts will go to Oxford’s Mini plant. 

Oxford East Labour MP Andrew Smith said the deal was “great news for the whole community and a credit to the Unite union.”

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