1,000 workers at food packaging supplier to be balloted for strike action

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Strike action at DS Smith could affect supplies of popular drinks brands
Strike action at DS Smith could affect supplies of popular drinks brands

Related tags Packaging

DS Smith, the packaging supplier to the food and drink manufacturing sector, has said it will not comment publicly on a ‘confidential process’ after the GMB Union said it was balloting staff for strike action.

The GMB said it was to ballot almost 1,000 of its members at DS Smith. It claimed its workers were £200 a month worse off due to the cost-of-living crisis and a pay offer from the company that equated to a real terms pay cut. 

The union said that brands including Pepsico, Brewdog, McVities, Princes, and KP Snacks could be affected by strike action. It also said that DS Smith also makes corrugated packaging for Chivas, Diageo and Seabrooks crisps, which could be impacted. 

Ballot

Workers in five sites – Louth, Lincolnshire, Featherstone, in Yorkshire, Clay Cross, in Derbyshire, Devizes, in Wiltshire and Livingston, in Scotland are taking part in the ballot 

The ballot closes 2 November, with any strike likely to take place later that month. 

A DS Smith spokesperson said: “As with any matter of this kind, DS Smith does not comment publicly on the details of a confidential process. Discussions are ongoing and we will continue to work together with all those involved.”

However, the union claims that DS Smith has refused to increase an offer of a 3% consolidated increase plus a non-consolidated payment of £760 for 2022-23. 

Cost of living 

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: “DS Smith workers say the cost of living crush has made them £200 a month worse off, through no fault of their own. 

“These are the same staff who worked through the pandemic, helping to keep the business afloat. 

“Now workers need the company to recognise their efforts with a decent pay offer that helps confront soaring inflation and eye-watering energy bills in the months ahead, rather than hanging them out to dry.” 

 

 

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