Unite Scotland has announced that following an unsuccessful meeting with ACAS around 90 DHL drivers and warehouse workers based at the multi-user site in Bellshill will take strike action in a dispute over a pay and working conditions. 

An initial offer of 9% over two years was rejected because it does not address the ‘poverty pay’ experienced by the majority of the workers who earn £12.50 an hour on average.

Following talks with ACAS on Friday (12 November) an improved offer was made to the DHL drivers and warehouse workers but this was also rejected.  88% voting to reject the offer in a ballot turnout of 95%.

Unite has been engaged in negotiations with DHL through the auspices of Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), and will meet again tomorrow (Thursday 18 November) in a bid to reach an agreement.

Unite members are also in dispute with DHL over the failure to look at improving the working hours of drivers, and their wider terms and conditions. The trade union has repeatedly highlighted its concerns over the increase in the working hours of logistics and HGV drivers across the UK, driver shortages, and the need for better wages and conditions across the industry.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “DHL are treating our members like second class citizens in the logistics industry. The company is well behind the curve on wage levels so they need to bring forward a new offer and quickly or our members will be taking strike action hitting the festive period.  Unite is determined to defend the jobs, pay and conditions of our members and will do so at DHL and elsewhere.”

Debbie Hutchings, Unite industrial officer, added: “With all the improvements being seen across logistics sites outside and also within the DHL group itself, the Bellshill site has not approached pay negotiations in line with industry. The reality is that they are dragging the company wheels in this dispute. The current wage offer does nothing to address the poverty pay experienced by the majority of drivers on the site, where hourly rates are far lower than other companies in the industry.

“Let’s remember that logistic drivers are in short supply across the nation. DHL must put forward a new improved offer and strike action will only be postponed when the management get on the same page as everyone else in the industry.”