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Customers of Howdens the kitchen maker could face disruption

Customers of Howdens the kitchen maker could face disruption

10 January 2013
Workers demonstrating outside Howden head office
Workers demonstrating outside Howden head office

Customers of the kitchen maker Howdens Joinery could face disruption to the delivery of their bespoke kitchens as a potential dispute is brewing because hardworking drivers face the sack.

Unite, Britain's biggest union, is preparing an industrial action ballot for DHL workers operating the Howdens Joinery contract, in a dispute over the company's decision to relocate the Widnes (Merseyside) transport operation to Howden in East Yorkshire with the loss of 64 jobs.

No sound or tangible business rationale has been offered for the relocation of Howdens’ transport operation. Unite believes the company's decision is an attack on the strongly unionised workers by an anti-union employer.

Unite regional officer Neil Clarke said: "The Widnes transport operation is the most heavily used in Howdens' entire network but the company has failed to give the union any meaningful reason for the proposed shift. We believe this is a blatant attack on a strongly unionised workforce.

"Unite is determined to protect its members' jobs and, if necessary, we will fight the decision but we still remain committed to trying to resolve this issue through meaningful dialogue. We believe that both Howdens and DHL have a moral duty to support and protect the long serving and loyal workforce."

On Thursday 3 January 2013 DHL informed employees working at the Widnes transport operation for the Howdens Joinery contract that Howdens is proposing to terminate its transport operations at Widnes on 4 February 2013 and relocate to a transport hub in Howden (North East) that is not yet in existence.

Howdens Joinery supplies bespoke kitchens to UK homes.

ENDS

Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey. 

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