Unite calls on Howdens’ CEO to 'stop the clock'...

Unite calls on Howdens’ CEO to 'stop the clock' on redundancies

11 January 2013

Unite, Britain's biggest union, has called on Matthew Ingle, the CEO of Howdens Joinery, to 'stop the clock' on the redundancy notices given to 53 loyal lorry drivers.

The union held a demonstration today (11 January) outside Howdens' headquarters in London's Portman Square calling on the CEO to negotiate meaningfully with the union.

Unite 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 53 jobs.

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

Matthew Ingle is part of the elite, enjoying a ‘fat cat’ salary of £538,000, as well as other lucrative ‘benefits

Unite national officer Matt Draper said: "Matthew Ingle is the CEO and operational decision maker of Howdens Joinery. He can stop the clock and ensure meaningful negotiations take place with workers facing the sack. Only he can make sure that the company acts in line with its self proclaimed values of respect for others, and treating everyone as they would like to be treated.

"Matthew Ingle is on a fat cat salary and lives in a different world from the Widnes drivers facing the sack. It's time he treated these loyal workers with respect and dignity and enters into negotiations over the future of the Widnes site, together with DHL and Unite the union."

Howdens Joinery supplies bespoke kitchens to UK homes. 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 that is not yet in existence.


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.

Anyone attending any demonstrations in Hetton or Skipton at any time are reminded that they should act in a lawful manner at all times.

For guidance on your rights when demonstrating, please click here.