Drivers ballot for strike action ahead of Christmas

Drivers delivering for Leeds-headquartered supermarket giant Asda have balloted for strike action over low pay.

The 80-plus HGV drivers are employed by Wincanton, on ASDA’s outsourced contract, and are based at Wincanton’s depot in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

Union Unite said said the drivers are paid £13.50 an hour and are often required to work up to 15 hours a day.

The drivers have been offered 7.4% on basic pay rates but with cost of living pressures and rising inflation, Unite says that this ‘is a real terms pay cut.’

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: Both Wincanton and ASDA are hugely wealthy companies.

“They absolutely should not be asking our members to take a pay cut, so unless they change their approach and table a better offer, they will face strike action in the run up to Christmas.

“The workers at Wincanton will receive Unite’s unstinting support throughout this dispute.”

The drivers transport goods to the supermarket’s regional distribution centres, covering an area that stretches as far north as Falkirk and to Bedford and Bristol in the south.

The ballot opens on Tuesday 18 October and closes on Monday 21 November. Strike action, if agreed, will see stoppages begin in the first week in December, and could lead to delays of goods to Asda stores ahead of the peak Christmas trading period.

Unite regional officer Kenny Rowe added: Strike action will cause huge disruption to ASDA and will inevitably result in shortages.

“Wincanton has been given every chance to resolve this dispute and make a pay offer which meets the workers’ expectations but it has declined to do so.”#

A Wincanton spokesperson said: “We value the vital work our colleagues carry out every day and the offer we have put forward is fair and competitive. We remain committed to finding a resolution that satisfies all parties.”

An Asda spokesperson added: We have an extensive network of Asda delivery driver colleagues who serve our stores nationwide. Wincanton is a regional third-party logistics supplier and these discussions are between their drivers and Unite the Union. We encourage both parties to reach an agreement on driver pay.”

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