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Tradeteam workers vote to strike over ‘bad faith’ culture at north London depot

About 100 Tradeteam workers at the Enfield depot have voted for strike action stemming from a lack of managerial good faith over pay and ongoing grievances, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 30 October).

Unite said that a rolling programme of strike dates by the drivers, draymen and warehouse staff will be announced soon that will hit the depot’s main customers - Carlsberg, Coors, Greene King and Mitchells & Butlers – in the run-up to Christmas.

Unite said that the firm had U-turned on a proposed package which included a two-year pay rise of 2.75 per cent for each year, the introduction of a bonus scheme and an extra day’s Saturday overtime at Christmas.

Talks with the conciliation service Acas broke down on Monday (28 October) over the pay issue and other grievances, such as the chief operating officer changing the offer without consultation; sending out crews on routes where they were breaking the allowed weight limits; and unfair disciplinary action for alleged lateness that was not the crews’ fault.

The workers at the MillMarsh Lane site in north London voted by 65 per cent for strike action.

Unite regional officer Paul Travers said: “What we are dealing with here is a culture of bad faith by management.

“Our members have now voted by a large majority for strike action and we will be announcing a rolling programme of industrial action in the run-up to Christmas which will hit Tradeteam’s prestige customers.

“We negotiated a two-year pay offer with the company which we were willing to recommend acceptance to our members, but the chief operating officer (COO), who was not involved in the talks, then pulled the rug from under the deal. 

“Ten days after the deal was offered in writing, the COO contacted Unite to say it was a ‘one sided deal’. We then entered a new pay claim which the company responded to by making a worse offer than the original one.

“The crux to this dispute is about the unilateral change to the original pay deal, along with several outstanding grievances, such as disciplinary action against our members for alleged poor timekeeping, despite unrealistic delivery rotas. 

“Our members are angry at what they see as one rule for them and one for management - the last straw was the abrupt U-turn on pay that has left a very sour taste in the mouth.

“However, there is a window of genuine opportunity before strike action commences for the management to sit down for constructive talks with Unite to reach a resolution to the myriad of outstanding grievances.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065
Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

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