Wincanton warehouse staff to strike

Swindon, UK:  Wincanton warehouse operators are to strike tomorrow in a two-tier pay row.

More than 200 Unite union members at Wincanton’s Marks & Spencer distribution centre in Swindon are due to strike for 24-hours tomorrow (Thursday, 22 December) in a row over two-tier pay.

Unite members at the South Marston site are angry that a two-year pay deal, worth 5.5% over two years, is linked to a new deal for new starters which they believe will hit their  pay, and terms and conditions.

This will mean reducing the hourly rate from £8.00 per hour to £6.45, and drastically lowering the shift premiums and overtime payments for new employees.

Unite members, unhappy at the proposals for the new starters, voted overwhelmingly for strike action. Members started a work-to-rule at 00:01am today (Wednesday, 21 December), which will continue infinitely.

Unite regional officer, John McGookin said: ‘”Our members have consistently indicated to Wincanton that their pay should not be linked to the introduction of inferior terms and conditions for new starters.”

“This is a blatant attempt by Wincanton, on behalf of Marks & Spencer, to circumvent the Agency Workers Directive.”

“Wincanton is not just content with getting its agency staff to sign all of its workers up to the Swedish Derogation – the loophole that thwarts pay parity progress – they are forcing colleagues to work alongside each other on inferior terms, while they reap the rewards in profits,” McGookin said.