'Robin Hood' protests to hit Aldi stores
Robin Hood to protest at Aldi stores as contractor Arrow XL accused of “taking from workers to give directors more”
Protesters dressed as Robin Hood will be appearing at a number of Aldi stores across the country this week to highlight how the supermarket’s contractor Arrow XL is effectively taking from its poorly paid workers to pay rich directors.
The protests will take place on January 12 and 13 at Aldi stores including in Warrington, Worcester, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Wales, Crawley, Lichfield and Airdrie, among others. Most sites will host two separate protests on the same day.*
Over 350 members of Unite have been taking strike action since October, with the workers taking all-out continuous strike action from 9 December. The workers are poorly paid, many are only paid the minimum wage, while other workers are paid barely above £9.50 an hour.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Arrow XL is guilty of acting as Robin Hood in reverse; it is taking money from its poorly paid workers to give to rich directors.
“Arrow XL needs to stop mistreating its workers and make a fair pay offer. Until Arrow XL treats its workers fairly, Unite will continue to expose its practices at every opportunity.”
Arrow XL is part of the Logistics Group Holdings Ltd, which is owned by Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay Family Settlements. Arrow XL is highly profitable and despite not being prepared to pay its workers a decent salary, this does not apply to the company’s directors. Arrow XL’s highest paid director in 2021 was paid £539,000, an 84 per cent increase in just a year.
Aldi is a key customer of Arrow XL and has a contract to undertake two person deliveries for the company, principally of large garden and BBQ equipment. Other companies that employ Arrow XL for two person deliveries include: Amazon, Very Group, LG Electronics, Richer Sounds and Buy it Direct.
Despite the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 14 per cent, Arrow XL has only been prepared to offer the workers a five per cent pay increase, which is a considerable real terms pay cut.
Unite national officer Adrian Jones said, “The strike has caused considerable disruption to Arrow XL’s clients, but this dispute has been entirely self-inflicted.
“Unite has given Arrow XL numerous opportunities to make a fair pay offer and it has stubbornly refused to do the right thing by its workers.”
*If you would l like to join any of our protests, full details can be found below:
When: Thursday 12 January at 4.15pm
Where: ALDI 6 Manse Place, Weavers Road, Airdrie
This will be followed by a further protest at the same store on Friday 13 January at 10am as the store is next door to the local Arrow XL depot.
When: Thursday 12 January at 12pm
Where: Aldi, Unit 2, Betts Way, RH10 9BN
When: Thursday 12 January at 10am-11am
Where: Aldi, Thirsk, Y07 3HF
This will be followed by a further protest on the same day at the Aldi in Ripon, HG4 1LH from 11:30am – 12:30pm and at the Aldi in Knaresborough HG5 0GA from 2pm – 3pm
When: Thursday 12 January at 10.30am
Where: Aldi, Pheasant Street, Worcester, WR1 2DZ
This will be followed by a further protest on the same day in, Crowngate shopping centre, 54 Friary Walk, Worcester, WR1 3LE from 12pm.
When: Thursday 12 January at 9.30-11am
Where: Fordton Retail Park, Chiltern Rd, Warrington, WA2 9SA
This will be followed by a further protest on the same day at another Warrington store in Liverpool Road, Warrington, WA1 1UD from 11.30am – 1pm.
When: Friday 13 January at 11am-12.30pm
Where: Aldi, Spytty Road, Newport, NP19 0TX
This will be followed by a further protest on the same day at the Aldi store situated at Glamorgan Vale Rt Park, CF72 8RP at 1pm-2.30pm
When: Friday 13 January at 10am-11am
Where: Aldi, Castleford, WF10 1EQ
This will be followed by a further protest on the same day at the other Aldi in Castleford, WF10 4RJ at 11.30am – 12.30pm and then at the Aldi in Pontefract, WF8 2LN from 2-3pm.
When: Friday 13 January at 10.30am
Where: Aldi, Church Street, Lichfield WS13 6EB
By Barckley Sumner