Iceland supplier facing strike action ahead of Christmas

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

GXO warehouses in Swindon supply Iceland stores. Credit: Unite
GXO warehouses in Swindon supply Iceland stores. Credit: Unite

Related tags Supply chain

Workers at two warehouses that supply Iceland will vote on whether to strike after rejecting a pay offer.

Unite the union confirmed last week (10 November 2023) that almost 150 workers based at two sites in Swindon, Wiltshire, have rejected a two-year pay deal offered by logistics contractor GXO.

GXO employs the workers at cold storage warehouses that supply Iceland stores across the south west of England, and offered what Unite described as a below inflation pay deal.

After further negotiations, no new deal has been offered, leading to the potential of walks out in the run up to Christmas. The ballot is now open and will close in two weeks’ time, with an earlier consultative ballot indicated a willingness to take industrial action in their campaign for a fair wage.

According to Unite, a potential strike would damage the ability of GXO to transport stock to the Iceland stores it supplies in the south west of England at one of the busiest times of the year for grocery retailers. GXO employs 130,000 people across 970 warehouses in 27 different countries.

GXO must ‘urgently reconsider its pay offer’

Speaking after the decision to ballot members over potential strike action was taken, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “GXO is a multinational company with billions of pounds of revenue yet pays our members little more than the minimum wage. GXO needs to urgently reconsider its pay offer to the very workers who help generate its income.

Unite does what it says on the trade union tin – we campaign for some of the lowest paid workers in this country.​”

Meanwhile, the union’s regional officer Paddy Brennan added: “Unite will be backing our members in their fight for a pay deal that addresses the cost-of-living crisis they are suffering. Without them, Mum won’t be going to Iceland for Christmas dinner this year​.”

In other news, the Diageo share price has slumped after the alcohol beverages manufacturer announced it had adjusted its growth projections.

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