Unite the union on Tuesday (August 2) announced a week-long strike action that will hit supplies to Sainsbury’s stores throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland after a poor pay offer was rejected by DHL workers.
96 per cent of DHL workers on a 68 per cent turnout emphatically voted to take strike action following the rejection of DHL’s final offer which represents a real terms pay cut with inflation soaring to hit a forty year high of 11.8 per cent.
Unite’s members are fighting for a fair pay deal that values their contribution to DHL and equal treatment by the company. Currently DHL are offering lower wages to workers based in Scotland when compared to other parts of the UK.
Unite represents over 300 DHL warehouse workers who are based at the distribution centre in Langlands Park East Kilbride. The distribution centre supplies Sainsbury’s stores throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland.
DHL’s German owned parent company – Deutsche Post DHL Group – announced in May 2022 that its revenue improved by 19.8 percent to 22.6 billion Euros. The company boasted of having recorded an ‘excellent opening quarter’ to 2022 with its operating profit increasing to 2.2 billion Euros.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Our DHL Sainsbury’s members deserve a fair pay rise and to be treated equally with their fellow workers based throughout the UK. Unite will challenge DHL and it’s mega-wealthy owners. We don’t do our members being treated as ‘second class’. They have their union’s full support in this fight for better jobs, pay and conditions at DHL Sainsbury’s.”
Negotiations have taken place under the auspices of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) but Unite has now served notice of the strike action following the failure of DHL to make an improved offer in the talks.
Unite’s members are now set to begin the week-long strike action from 06:00 hours on 13 August 2022 and continuing each day up to 20 August 2022 when the action will conclude at 05:59 hours.
Unite regional officer Willie Thomson added, “The cost of living crisis is impacting every DHL Sainsbury’s worker equally but this billion pounds company continue to value their workers at East Kilbride less than others based throughout the UK. We will not tolerate this second class treatment of our members. Strike action is always a last resort but our members have no option but to take a stand. The company will soon know the value of its workforce when there will be empty shelves in Sainsbury’s stores throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland. All our members are asking for is the same wage rise.”
By Andrew Brady