Warehouse workers at DHL Services in West Thurrock, Essex have voted to strike on June 5 over the prospect of a serious deterioration in employment conditions when they are transferred to a new company next month.
The 51 workers, members of Unite have voted unanimously for the 24-hour strike action, starting at just after midnight, as they face poorer working conditions when the contract is taken over by NFT Distribution on June 6.
The dispute has a number of elements: no union recognition with NFT Distribution; different shift patterns; increased travelling time to the new Tilbury site eight miles away; poorer pension provisions; and failure to guarantee pay, terms and conditions for the rest of the contract.
“Our members, who are predominately warehouse operatives, have voted by 100 per cent to strike for 24 hours on Wednesday, June 5 as they face the prospect of a serious and permanent erosion of their pay and working conditions,” said Unite regional officer Mary Hackwood.
“Unite believes that that a vicious cost-cutting agenda is at play here,” he added.
“Strike action is set for 5 June and if this happens it will mean disruption to supplies for the current customer Upfield, a leading producer of plant-based spreads.
“However, there is a still time for the managements at DHL and NFT to get around the table with Unite to enter into meaningful negotiations to retain the present employment conditions that our members enjoy.”