Easter beer shortage threat

UK facing Easter beer shortages as DHL Tradeteam drivers in Burton-on-Trent announce strikes

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HGV drivers employed by DHL Tradeteam on the Molson Coors contract in Burton-on-Trent will begin strike action next month in a long-running dispute over unmanageable delivery routes.

The drivers, members of Unite have been involved in a three year dispute caused by excessively long delivery routes.

The current dispute was triggered when DHL Tradeteam reneged on a deal struck at the conciliation service Acas last year, backtracking on a commitment to recruit 25 additional drivers in order to address the route demands.

Unite has announced two separate 72 hours strikes. The first will run from Wednesday 6 April – Friday 8 April and the second from Sunday 10 April – Tuesday 12 April. The strikes will then be followed by an overtime ban from Tuesday 12 April until Wednesday 20 April.

The strikes are set to cause delays and shortages of Molson Coors’ products, most notably Carling lager, over the Easter holiday period.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “DHL Tradeteam drivers are fed up with the company’s conduct. Our members have tried for years to resolve these issues through negotiations but the company has repeatedly reneged on its assurances.

“Unite always prioritises the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and we will be giving the workers our full support until this dispute is finally resolved.”

Trust at the company has been further undermined by its failure to deliver on a promise made in October 2021 to increase pay rates.

Unite regional officer Rick Coyle added, “Most employers have realised that the labour market in 2022 requires lorry drivers to be treated decently. DHL appears to find this difficult.

“Even at this late stage strike action and the beer shortages that will result can still be avoided. DHL Tradeteam needs to return to the negotiating table and immediately implement measures to deliver on its previous commitments.”

By Barckley Sumner

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