Unite has today (July 21) secured a recognition agreement for workers employed by logistics giant XPO on the Nestle contract, based at the East Midlands Gateway.
The recognition agreement is a landmark for Unite, as it the first of its type to be secured since the government announced the creation of freeports in the UK.
It is significant as there are valid concerns that as well as providing tax breaks to companies, freeports could be used to reduce workers’ rights and weaken health and safety laws.
The East Midlands Gateway is one of the government’s freeport zones. It is a vast new logistics and distribution hub that will eventually cover 6m square feet of logistics space.
The agreement signed between Unite and XPO is for pay and conditions and will cover the warehouse workers, who are working on the Nestle contract.
“This is a landmark deal, it is the first time that a major recognition agreement has been signed in one of the newly designated freeport zones,” commented Unite regional secretary, Paresh Patel.
“Unite is determined to use this agreement as a template to ensure that all workers in freeport zones are covered and protected by a recognition agreement so that the genuine concerns that freeports could be used to undermine workers’ rights never comes to pass.”
Unite regional officer Larry McGlinchey added, “This is excellent news for our members employed by XPO on the Nestle contract who will now be fully supported by Unite for all pay and conditions issues.
“It is to be hoped that by signing this agreement, a strong working relationship can be established which will benefit both the workers and the company.”
By Barckley Sumner