'We will continue to step up the pressure'

Striking workers increase the pressure on major UK pallet supplier Chep with protests across company’s customer base

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Unite will raise the pressure on Chep UK where workers based in Trafford Park have been on strike since December 2021 in a dispute over pay. Unite has accused the company of “failing its workforce in the middle of a cost of living crisis”.

The UK’s leading union is staging protests over the coming weeks across the pallet maker’s customer base in Wales and the North West including Unilever, Heinz, DHL, Heineken, Proctor and Gamble and Two Sisters.

Chep UK, which is based in Trafford Park, Manchester, repairs and supplies pallets for supporting and transporting goods to a host of prominent companies. The workers have been on strike since December – and recently renewed their mandate for strike action into the spring by a majority of 94 per cent.

Chep UK made £70.5 million in profit in 2021. The company would only need to increase its current pay offer by an estimated £67,000 to resolve the dispute.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Chep UK made tens of millions in profit last year and could easily settle this dispute. Instead it’s failing its workforce in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

“If Chep UK is unwilling to resolve this dispute by presenting a realistic and acceptable pay offer, we will continue to step up the pressure on the company to do so.”

Unite regional officer Ian McCluskey added, “Unite will ensure that the public, customers, businesses and all other stakeholders are made aware of how poorly Chep UK has treated its own workers. We will fully inform and engage with all relevant parties and I am sure that many will make decisions in light of Chep’s actions.”

By Ciaran Naidoo

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