The delivery of thousands of ‘white goods’, from fridge freezers to cookers, could be severely disrupted, after more than 200 drivers and warehouse staff at Indesit UK Ltd voted overwhelmingly to take strike action over pay.
The workers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will be deciding in the next few days what form the strike action may take.
They voted by 93 per cent for strike action and 97 per cent for industrial action short of a strike, after years of below inflation pay awards.
Unite said that the pay offer for the year starting January 2015 was 1.5 per cent when, at the time of the negotiations, inflation was running at 1.7 per cent. In 2014, the pay award was also 1.5 per cent, when the inflation rate was two per cent.
Unite members are also angry at the attack on their terms and conditions. At present, if there were job losses, the redundancy pay is calculated at a guaranteed 45 hour week. Now the company wants to reduce this to contracted hours of 37 or 40 a week, depending on individual employee contracts.
The workforce ensures that freezers, fridge freezers, cookers, hobs, kettles and toasters are delivered directly to homes and trade outlets across the UK.
Unite regional officer Mark Plumb said: “Our members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action which shows the depth of anger at the below inflation pay they have had to endure in recent years which has seriously eroded their standard of living.
“This has been compounded by the management starting to attack their terms and conditions in regards to guaranteed redundancy payments.
“We will be consulting our members on what form the industrial action will take in the next few days and announcing our plans accordingly.
“However, we urge the management to get around the table to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement for the drivers and warehouse staff, especially given the strong mandate we have received from our members.
“As the drivers deliver more than 16,000 items of ‘white goods’ each week across the UK, any industrial action will severely disrupt deliveries for Indesit customers.”
The drivers, attendants and warehouse staff are based at: Andover; Barnsley; Chepstow; Gateshead; Grangemouth; Hayes (west London); Mallusk (Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland); Trafford Park (Manchester); Raunds (Northamptonshire); Sharpness (Berkeley, Gloucestershire); Wednesbury (West Midlands); and West Thurrock (Essex).
Indesit Company is an Italian company based in Ancona province, Italy. It is one of the leading European manufacturers and distributors of major domestic appliances
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact 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.