A campaign by Unite, Britain's leading union, has delivered a benchmark agreement with FedEx in the East Midlands to protect essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the initial phase of government's restrictions last month, workers at FedEx in the East Midlands (which delivers parcels, documents and freight consignments) submitted a collective grievance, calling for the company to ensure robust workplace protections were put in place against the coronavirus.

The company responded immediately and agreed to introduce all of Unite's recommendations, alongside a comprehensive action plan to ensure the safety of the workforce. The agreement which is now in place sets a benchmark in best practice nationally across the company (see notes to editors).

Unite regional officer Cheryl Pidgeon said: "Unite has secured a benchmark agreement with FedEx in the East Midlands to introduce robust measures to help protect workers from Covid-19. The workers joined forces to raise a collective grievance about limited safety measures at the company. FedEx did the right thing and quickly agreed to all Unite's proposals and the company moved to introduce a comprehensive action plan."

Matt Draper, Unite national officer, added "This excellent agreement is a result of Unite's workplace representatives at FedEx in the East Midlands. Thanks to their intervention, workers now have access to PPE and effective lines of communication between the workforce and management. It's more proof of the invaluable work trade unions do in these challenging times and demonstrates the value of collaborative working between unions and companies. FedEx’s actions should be held up as an example to other employers.”

ENDS

For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315

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

Notes to editors:

Alongside a comprehensive action plan, the agreement reached with Unite and FedEx in the East Midlands includes:

  1. To regularly provide the entire workforce with the required PPE such as antibacterial gels, sprays and wipes.
  2. To provide all employees with a safe working environment including inside the lorries.
  3. To conduct risk assessments with Unite representatives for the vehicle drivers.
  4. Allow individuals to wear their own masks and gloves if none are available.
  5. Regular conference calls with the union regarding Covid-19, updates on guidance and rules applicable to individual workstations.