Worksop B&Q depot workers balloting for industrial action over pay dispute

Union members at the B&Q Distribution Centre in Worksop are balloting for a strike action over a pay increase.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 1:53 pm

Members of the Unite trade union at the distribution Centre, off Retford Road, have held a postal strike ballot in protest against pay which will be counted up tomorrow (November 4).

A consultative ballot for strike action a few weeks ago saw 89 per cent of members vote to take strike action.

The B&Q distribution centres, are run by supply chain partner Wincanton.

Workers at Wincanton's B&Q Distribution Centre at the old Manton Wood colliery site are balloting for a strike over pay.

The 500 Wincanton workers employed at the B&Q depot were offered a pay increase of four per cent earlier this year, which was rejected by 88 per cent of union members.

Employees are allegedly working at a wage of £9.96 per hour.

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One employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, said staff morale is at “rock bottom”.

They said: “It’s a massive kick in the teeth what they originally offered. We’re working shifts for just less than £10 an hour.

“We’ve worked all way through Covid and received nothing but a free slice of pizza and a bacon cob.

“[It] feels like we’re not valued. We’re only asking for the rise we deserve.”

Speaking on behalf of the 400 union members at the Worksop depot, Paresh Patel, regional secretary for Unite East Midlands, said: “There's a significant amount of anger amongst the membership because of the workforce.

“They weren’t furloughed and they continued to operate throughout the pandemic.

“On the back of rising cost of living, upcoming increase in tax, National Insurance contributions, and so forth, our members feel that B&Q have done relatively well throughout the pandemic, and feel that what's been offered so far is wholly inadequate.

“Our door remains open for further negotiations with the company.

“It's in everyone's interest, certainly of ours as well, that we want to try and settle it before any industry action takes place.”

A spokesperson from Wincanton said the firm “declined to comment”.

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