Barnsley distribution centre fire prompts call for Uni...

Barnsley distribution centre fire prompts call for Unite to have access to the workforce

24 June 2014

Unite, the country’s largest union, wants to be allowed to talk to workers on health and safety issues, following the fire at the large Barnsley Asos online clothes distribution centre.

Norbert Dentressangle, the major European transport and logistics company, employs about 1,200 workers at its Grimethorpe site – but has no recognition agreement with Unite, although other company sites across the UK enjoy such recognition.

Unite regional officer Richard Bedford said: “We would like to talk the employees who work at Norbert Dentressangle to give them an opportunity to join a union, following this fire.

“Thankfully no one was injured during the incident, but one of the prime functions of a trade union is the promotion of health and safety issues.

“The Barnsley management at Norbert Dentressangle has refused for the last 12 months to allow Unite access to the workforce, despite the fact that this trans-European company has recognition agreements with Unite at other UK sites.

“We hope that this fire will cause the management to have a rethink.”

The benefits of trade union involvement in a robust health and safety regime can be seen via this link: 


For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 and/or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065. 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.