Strike action which would have hit Sainsbury’s stores across South West England and into west Wales has been averted after the workers’ employer DHL made a much improved pay offer.
Over 250 warehouse workers, who are employed by DHL on an outsourced Sainsbury’s contract and based at the company’s Emerald Park distribution centre in Bristol, had overwhelmingly voted for strike action.
In the wake of that result, further negotiations were held with DHL and a revised pay offer was made. Unite’s members accepted the offer, which secures a pay increase of between 10.68 per cent and 15.64 per cent depending on the worker’s contract, above the real rate of inflation which currently stands at nine per cent.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This is a great victory for our members who have secured a pay rise at a time of rising living costs.
“By standing together and being prepared to take strike action they forced DHL back to the negotiating table and an improved offer was made,” she added. “This victory further demonstrates Unite’s total commitment to improving the pay and conditions of its members.”
Unite regional officer Shevaun Hunt noted, “This result would not have been possible without the commitment of Unite’s shop stewards who through their hard work and dedication kept the members fully informed and united throughout this protracted dispute.
“Unite always believed this dispute could be resolved through negotiations and once DHL understood the strength of members’ feelings an improved offer was made.”
By Barckley Sumner