Menzies staff accept improved pay offer

A threatened strike by Unite the union members at Menzies Distribution seems to have help resolve the pay dispute. After the strike ballot was sent to members and they voted in favour, a new offer was made by the employer which has been approved.

According to the union, the 300 packers, pickers and drivers voted by a ‘significant majority’ to accept the improved pay offer. The terms and conditions have not been disclosed to the media.

Unite national officer for the graphical, paper and media sector Ian Tonks added: “The threat of industrial action has now been withdrawn and our members are working normally.”

After the intention to strike was announced, the union said that the pay and conditions were unacceptable, with overtime and time in lieu removed for working at Bank Holidays as well as a pay offer that amounted to just above the new Living Wage. Unite members voted overwhelmingly to strike, and this seems to have brought the bosses at Menzies Distribution back to the table.

Given the downward pressure on costs due to intense competition in the delivery market, Menzies Distribution staff were not the first to face low pay offers in negotiations and, what with the move to pay per piece payment terms for delivery drivers, may well not be the last we see in the coming year. One nightmare scenario is where a union walks out around the peak season – nothing rumbling just yet but something that could seriously damage the reputation of an employer during that period.

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