WORKERS at an aircraft parts maker hope to put “months of turmoil” behind them after management and union officials thrashed out a shift and pay agreement, The Northern Echo can reveal.

Staff at Northern Aerospace had downed tools in protest at having “their noses pushed through the dirt” over what they saw as potentially costly amendments to shift patterns.

Bosses at the company, which runs its head office out of Consett, County Durham, refuted the accusations, saying the changes had eased redundancy fears and were in line with union agreements set out in 2013.

They also said the moves at the business, known for making wing apparatus and supplying machined parts to customers such as Airbus and Boeing, were a response to weaker customer demand.

Now, after a day’s strike action and intervention by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), a deal has been struck that includes a 27.5 per cent shift allowance and 1.5 per cent pay rise on basic wages, both paid with immediate effect.

The business will also return to a more flexible three shift, 12-hour shift pattern, with an option for employees to start a shift ten minutes early and be paid at time-and-a-half, while annual pay discussions are scheduled for January.

John McCauley, a GMB union representative on site, said he hoped the resolution would allow workers to focus on their day jobs again.

“It has been months of turmoil, coming into work with doom and gloom,” he told the Echo.

“We got ACAS negotiate, which was a big help for both parties, and it’ll be nice to come into work and focus on the things that matter, like making money.

“We had a really strong show of force from members.”

A spokeswoman for Northern Aerospace, which was bought by Better Capital in 2015, said the company was happy to have resolved the situation.

She added: “Following ongoing discussions, Northern Aerospace has reached an agreement with the GMB union based around the new shift pattern introduced in September. The revised offer allows staff to recoup a significant part of the income lost in the wake of reduced customer orders, and was accepted by our employees in a ballot.”