Profiteering risks empty Morrisons supermarket shelves

Logistics firm’s profits rise by 17 per cent – while drivers offered 6.5 per cent

Reading time: 3 min

It looks like shoppers in the north of England face empty Morrisons supermarket shelves over the holiday season – as the offer of a real terms pay cut has prompted hundreds of drivers employed by Wincanton PLC on the Morrisons contract, to begin voting on strike action.

The supermarket chain across the north now faces the prospect of empty shelves in the run up to Christmas because Wincanton PLC refuses to share its eye watering £54.8m profits fairly with workers who face a cost of living crisis.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said, Wincanton’s profiteering is threatening Morrisons with empty shelves across the north this Christmas.

“The company made £55m of profit, up 17 per cent. A pay offer almost half the rate of inflation just doesn’t cut it. The workers have Unite’s complete support. Wincanton should stop wasting everyone’s time and negotiate a realistic pay deal.” 

The logistics company has offered hundreds of drivers based in Stockton, Wakefield and Gadbrook in Cheshire a pay deal of just 6.5 per cent, almost half the current rate of inflation (RPI). Bosses have also refused to discuss issues raised by workers including sickness, pensions, and compassionate leave.

The drivers across all three sites, who deliver to Morrisons distribution centres across the north of England and to homes have overwhelmingly rejected Wincanton’s final pay offer.

If Unite members take strike action, there will be disruption to deliveries in the run-up to Christmas. Morrisons depend on just-in-time deliveries for their fresh produce, Christmas shoppers could be facing empty shelves from early December through to the New Year unless this dispute is resolved.

Unite regional officer Chris Rawlinson commented, “Wincanton’s intransigence means there is a very real chance of empty Morrisons shelves through Christmas and the New Year. Wincanton PLC is a hugely wealthy company, and they have had a very good year. With inflation running at 12.6 per cent the company needs to get serious about putting a significantly better pay deal on the table.”

By Ciaran Naidoo