Industrial action suspended at Menzies Distribution

Unite the union has announced that it has suspended threatened industrial action at Menzies Distribution while staff vote on an improved pay offer.

Unite members voted to begin industrial action over a range of changes to pay and conditions that were imposed upon them by their employer. This seems to have resulted in a moderate improvement of the offer made by Menzies Distribution, and the 300 packers, pickers and drivers are voting on it. While the details of the improved offer have not been disclosed to the media, the union has said that their response will be known next Friday, the 30th September.

The industrial action would have composed of a series of 24 hour strikes, the first to begin on Friday the 23rd September (tomorrow) and then on the following Monday (26th September). Unite members had voted 86% in favour of strike action and 91% in favour of industrial action short of a strike.

The main Menzies distribution centres include Ashford, Aylesford, Bromley-by-Bow, Greenwich, Norwich, Ipswich, Portsmouth, West Thurrock and Weybridge in England. The main sites in Scotland are at Dundee, Dunfermline, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Irvine, and Paisley.

Delivery companies are caught between a rock and a hard place, with increasing competition and overcapacity driving their per parcel incomes down while their staff have to take the brunt of it in terms of low pay increases. This has not been the first case of staff unrest recently in the sector and is unlikely to be the last in the coming months.
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