Strike action threatens Christmas food shortage

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Strike action at XPO Logistics’ depot in Lanarkshire could lead to a shortage in food this Christmas
Strike action at XPO Logistics’ depot in Lanarkshire could lead to a shortage in food this Christmas

Related tags Supply chain

Strike action by workers at XPO Logistics’ depot in Lanarkshire, Scotland may cause a Christmas food shortage, according to trade union bosses.

More than 600 members of trade union GMB have been asked to support strike action at the site near Bellshill, after management allegedly breached the terms of an ACAS conciliation agreement over payroll and pensions.

Commenting on the strike ballot, GMB Scotland organiser Bob Deavy said: “XPO management are treating employees with contempt and their failure to stick to a basic ACAS agreement has shattered any confidence there may have been left.

Disruption to Morrisons

“We’ve been left with little choice but to move to a full industrial action ballot. Based on the depth of feeling among staff, the prospect of a strike affecting distribution to XPO’s key client, Morrisons, is almost certain.”

A similar ballot was avoided earlier this year after XPO and GMB reached an agreement over payroll and pensions under the auspices of ACAS in September, which saw a compensatory payment of £25 for any staff member who had experienced a shortfall in their wages while XPO worked to make their payroll system “fit for purpose​”.

“It’s a sorry state of affairs when an employer can’t even get their stop-gap measures right and, just two months after conciliation with ACAS, they are breaching the terms of their own mitigation strategy,”​ Deavy added.

Company wide ballot

XPO is a main distributor of produce to Morrisons’ 60 stores in Scotland. The industrial action ballot – which runs until Monday 25 November – involves all occupations, including drivers and warehouse operators.

In response to the GMB’s latest actions, a spokesman for XPO told Food Manufacture: “We entered into the ACAS conciliation agreement in good faith and are confident that any remaining issues can be resolved. We’re committed to delivering on our promise to our customers during the holiday season.”

Meanwhile, earlier this month, members of the trade union Unite took industrial action at ABP Food Group’s factory in Lurgan, Northern Ireland​ over concerns that proposed altered work times would have on childcare responsibilities.

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