"Our members are angry, they've had enough" - Worksop B&Q distribution centre workers explain why they have taken strike action

Hundreds of workers at the B&Q distribution centre have gone on strike in a row over pay and conditions.
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The 500 Wincanton workers who are employed at the Worksop B&Q depot were offered a pay increase of four per cent earlier this year, but 88 per cent of Unite members rejected the offer.

Members voted to take industrial action earlier this month, after 95.9 of votes supported the motion.

Unite said its Worksop depot members expect a pay rise that reflects the rising cost of living.

Workers march for payWorkers march for pay
Workers march for pay

One employee told the Guardian earlier this month that moral was “at rock bottom”.

Workers gathered outside the depot, off Retford Road, on Monday to protest against the pay offer made.

According to Pat McGrath, a union official at the depot, the offer made was “under the rate of inflation and inadequate.”

Speaking at the picket line, he said: “They have worked all throughout the pandemic and haven’t been recognised at all.

Workers and union members at B&Q Worksop take industrial actionWorkers and union members at B&Q Worksop take industrial action
Workers and union members at B&Q Worksop take industrial action
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"Wincanton are also trying to undermine Unite with the union by threatening workers with contempt.”

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

Regional secretary for Unite East Midlands, Paresh Patel, said: “Our members are angry, they’ve had enough.

Workers gather at B&Q site in MantonWorkers gather at B&Q site in Manton
Workers gather at B&Q site in Manton

"They have helped the company make record profits throughout the pandemic.

"They made sure the operation continued during the most difficult time for the business, and it is only fair that our members get compensated and remunerated in accordance to that”.

The strike action will continue with a two weekly cycle of seven days all out strike and a seven day overtime ban, and will continue for 12 weeks until February 19 2022.

Unite state they remain open to discussions with Wincanton to resolve a new pay offer.

A Wincanton spokesperson said: “We value our colleagues and the vital work they carry out every day and believe the offer we have put forward is fair and competitive.

"We remain committed to finding a resolution with Unite and our colleagues.”