Britain's Unite union, which represents most auto industry workers, said Thursday's announcement of 1,000 'permanent contract' jobs at four BMW plants in the UK follows a deal it struck with the automaker to make 1,000 agency workers (temps) permanent with guaranteed job security beyond 2020.

"Up to 700 agency workers will be told before Christmas that they are to be made permanent, with a remaining 300 workers to made permanent after 1 January 2014," the union said in a statement.

BMW had said recruitment would take place in two phases between 2014 and 2016. Current "eligible agency associates" [aka temps] would be given priority subject to the normal selection criteria.

The initial recruitment phase covers 700 jobs and would start in the New Year with hiring of the remaining 300 starting in 2016.

"The deal means that the workers will have guaranteed job security beyond 2020 and they will join the company’s car scheme, get paid holidays, sick pay and will be eligible to join the company pension scheme. Unite and BMW have also agreed to an annual review of the scheme in order to ensure it remains fit for purpose," the union added.

Unite and BMW had been in talks over the scheme for a number of months but talks gathered pace just prior to the launch of the new Mini hatchback on 18 November which followed a GBP750m spend by the company.

Unite national secretary, Roger Maddison said: “In an uncertain world the best Christmas present for working families is job security. We are delighted that 1,000 BMW agency workers are to be made permanent with guaranteed job security beyond 2020.

“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.

“The deal is also an indication of the strength of the car industry and the skills of the UK workforce.”

The deal applies to agency workers at Swindon pressing, Hams Hall engines, Rolls Royce assembly and Plant Oxford Mini assembly.