Hundreds of Matalan warehouse staff to strike over pay offer

Matalan

Union leaders say deliveries at discount retailer Matalan are set to grind to a halt when warehouse staff walk out in a 24-hour stoppage next Monday (August 19).

The dispute is over the Knowsley-based firm’s pay offer.

The union claims it is worth just 1.5% to some workers, although Matalan says this relates to a minority of staff on weekend shifts at the Knowsley distribution centre who receive £11.14 hourly.

The company says the majority, on core shifts, are being offered a 4.7% hourly pay rise.

Around 950 people work at the warehouse.

GMB union officials say hundreds are due to walk out next Monday at 2pm.

The distribution centre services e-commerce and store supplies across the North of England and Scotland

GMB organiser, Stephen Boden, said: “This industrial action is a result of Matalan management making a frankly insulting pay offer.

“How can they expect hard working staff to accept real terms a pay cut?

“But it’s not too late for management to listen to workers and get back round the table with us to work out a fair deal.”

Matalan said of the 463 union members entitled to vote in the ballot, only 236 (51%) chose to, and 200 voted for strike action.

A spokesperson for the retailer said: “It is reassuring that the vast majority of those working in the Knowsley Distribution centre did not vote for industrial action.

“We are deeply disappointed that even a small portion of union members voted in favour of industrial action. Especially given this went against the previous full recommendation of their own union, following over five months of negotiations.

“Our offer of a 4.7% pay increase for all of our distribution centre staff on core shifts was the largest our company has ever offered without any other changes to T&Cs (terms and conditions). In addition, it is well above inflation and cost of living increases as well as amongst the highest offered in our sector.”

They added: “We are proud to be a major employer in the North West, centred around our Knowsley headquarters, and constantly strive to balance the needs of our employees and their long-term job security with the wider needs of the business. We will do everything possible to minimise disruption to our colleagues and customers.”

In June, Matalan said it was creating 200 jobs as a result of shift changes at its warehouse operation.

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