Unite has secured a recognition agreement for workers employed by logistics giant XPO on the Nestle contract, based at the East Midlands Gateway.

Landmark deal

The recognition agreement is a landmark for Unite, the UK’s leading union, as it the first of its type to be secured since the government announced the creation of freeports in the UK. It is significant as there are valid concerns that as well as providing tax breaks to companies, freeports could be used to reduce workers’ rights and weaken health and safety laws.

The East Midlands Gateway is one of the government’s freeport zones. It is a vast new logistics and distribution hub that will eventually cover 6 million square feet of logistics space.

The agreement signed between Unite and XPO is for pay and conditions and will cover the warehouse workers, who are working on the Nestle contract.

 First freeports agreement

 “Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands Paresh Patel said: “This is a landmark deal, it is the first time that a major recognition agreement has been signed in one of the newly designated freeport zones.

 “Unite is determined to use this agreement as a template to ensure that all workers in freeport zones are covered and protected by a recognition agreement so that the genuine concerns that freeports could be used to undermine workers’ rights never comes to pass.”

Fully supported by Unite

Unite regional officer Larry McGlinchey said: “This is excellent news for our members employed by XPO on the Nestle contract who will now be fully supported by Unite for all pay and conditions issues.

“It is to be hoped that by signing this agreement, a strong working relationship can be established which will benefit both the workers and the company.”


 During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

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