Threat of strikes could impact Argos distribution network
The union Unite has announced that Argos could face strikes across its UK distribution network. According to Unite, the strikes could be called because of a dispute over redundancy and severance packages.
In a statement sent to Post&Parcel today (2 August), Unite warned that: “Deliveries to customers will be severely hit, once the strikes by the warehouse staff begin early in the morning of Tuesday 15 August and ending early in the morning of Tuesday 5 September.”
Unite added: “The four sites at Basildon in Essex, Bridgwater in Somerset, Castleford (West Yorkshire) and Heywood (Greater Manchester), covered by the employer/union national forum, will be joined by workers at the Barton Business Park, Burton-on-Trent who wish to be covered by the forum.”
The union said it was concerned because “Argos has failed to give guarantees at all its logistics sites that workers’ future terms and conditions will be safeguarded, after nearly 500 workers were transferred from its Lutterworth distribution hub in Leicestershire to Wincanton Logistics in Kettering, Northamptonshire”.
Unite national officer for logistics and retail distribution Matt Draper said: “What we are faced with is the thin end of the wedge with Sainbury’s [which now owns Argos] pulling the strings behind the scenes – and that the not-so-hidden agenda is serious cost-cutting to the detriment of our members.
“The transfer of the workers from Lutterworth to the Wincanton site at Kettering, whether they wanted to go or not, led to this strike ballot.”