The delivery of thousands of essential white goods, from fridge freezers, washing machines to cookers, will be severely disrupted, as more than 200 drivers and warehouse staff at Indesit UK Ltd gear up for four days of strike action in a pay dispute.
The workers, members of Unite, will be striking for 24 hours on August 21; for 48 hours on August 27 and 24 hours on September 1. All the strikes will start at 6 am.
This action will be coupled with a work-to-rule from 12.01am on August 19 until 6am on August 21 and from 12.01am on August 25 until 6am on August 27.
The crux of the dispute is that company has not budged on its original pay offer of 1.5 per cent for the year starting January 2015, after further talks between Unite and company bosses.
The firm has moved on such issues as guaranteeing the 45 hour-a-week for redundancy pay and bringing forward the introduction of the London weighting for drivers’ assistants to this year.
However, the new package was overwhelmingly rejected when put to the members.
“It is abundantly clear that this dispute centres on the derisory 1.5 per cent offer which was below inflation at the time of the anniversary date in January,” said Unite regional officer Mark Plumb.
“Our members are tired of being fobbed off year-on-year with one-off bonuses, which may never materialise or when they do are worth virtually nothing,” he added. “Our members are seeking a substantial increase ln their basic pay after years of below inflation pay rises.”
Originally, the staff voted by 93 per cent for strike action and 97 per cent for industrial action short of a strike, after years of below inflation pay awards. In 2014, the pay award was also 1.5 per cent, when the inflation rate was two per cent.
The workforce ensures that freezers, fridge freezers, washing machines, cookers, hobs, kettles and toasters are delivered directly to homes and trade outlets across the UK.
“As the drivers deliver more than 16,000 items of ‘white goods’ each week across the UK, the strikes will severely disrupt deliveries for Indesit customers in the run-up to the peak Christmas period.”
The drivers, attendants and warehouse staff are based at: Andover; Barnsley; Chepstow; Gateshead; Grangemouth; Hayes (west London); Mallusk (Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland); Trafford Park (Manchester); Raunds (Northamptonshire); Sharpness (Berkeley, Gloucestershire); Wednesbury (West Midlands); and West Thurrock (Essex).
Indesit Company is an Italian company based in Ancona province, Italy. It is one of the leading European manufacturers and distributors of major domestic appliances.