Strikes suspended in DHL Liverpool Wagon Wheel dispute for talks, but local management undermining negotiations warns Unite
- Tuesday 5 January 2021
Strike action involving workers employed by DHL Supply Chain in Liverpool on the Burton Biscuits and AB World Foods delivery contract has been suspended as an act of ‘good faith’ as the company indicated it was prepared to make ‘a significantly improved offer’.
The strike action planned for 29 and 30 December did not go ahead and the strike planned for Wednesday 13 January has also been suspended.
Acas talks will take place on Tuesday 12 January but if there is not a satisfactory resolution then the strikes planned for Wednesday 20 January and Thursday 21 January will go ahead.
The dispute involving 120 Unite members concerns a combination of low pay (warehouse operatives will be paid just two and half pence above the minimum wage when the rate is increased to £8.91 in April 2021) and the systematic victimisation of workers, which has resulted in the complete collapse of industrial relations.
The brands affected by the dispute include Wagon Wheels, Jammie Dodgers, the Patak curry range and the Blue Dragon Chinese food range.
Tensions during the initial strikes, which began on 19 December, were heightened as DHL’s local management were accused of wasting police time by repeatedly calling the police to a peaceful picket line.
The local DHL management have continued to make unfounded allegations about the conduct of the striking workers and Unite is warning that this could further undermine the chances of a negotiated settlement being agreed.
Good faith move
Unite regional officer Kenny Rowe said: “Unite has suspended its strike action in good faith to maximise the chances of securing an agreed settlement at Acas next week.
“However if DHL do not deliver on their promise of a meaningful improved offer, on what is a highly lucrative contract, then there will be fresh strike action next week.
“DHL must recognise that the conduct of its local management, which was a key factor in the dispute in the first place, is making the prospect of a settlement more difficult.
“Unite members strongly object to the lies and untruths that DHL’s local management has been spreading. This must stop immediately if further strike action is to be avoided.”
Notes to editors:
For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.