Fears that supplies to Sainsbury’s stores across South West England could be severely disrupted prior to Christmas have ended after lorry drivers, employed by DHL, accepted an inflation beating 14 per cent pay increase.

Industrial action threatened

The 140 drivers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, began balloting for industrial action earlier this month after receiving a totally unacceptable pay offer.

However, once DHL was notified of the planned industrial action the company returned to the negotiating table and made a vastly improved offer, which was then approved by the workforce.

Inflation beating deal

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a first-rate result for Unite professional lorry drivers employed by DHL. This inflation beating deal recognises the skills and abilities that lorry drivers on vitally important supermarket delivery contracts must possess.

“Unite always fights to defend our members’ jobs, pay and conditions. The inflation busting pay rise at DHL, as well as similar victories at other workplaces across the country, demonstrates our approach is paying dividends for Unite members.”

The workers will receive a 14 per cent increase in pay on basic salary as part of an 18 month deal from 1 July 2021 and they will receive a lump sum payment worth 14 per cent for the period of 1 July to 31 December 2021.

Improved offer

Unite regional officer Shevaun Hunt said: “Once DHL realised how determined Unite members were to receive a credible offer they swiftly returned to the negotiating table and put forward a deal which met our members’ expectations.

“Unite will ensure that this deal is built on in future wage negotiations to ensure that our members receive a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.”


South West Sainsbury’s facing Christmas shortages as DHL lorry drivers begin strike ballot over pay

Notes to editors:

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

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Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.