Thursday, April 18, 2024

Sainsbury’s Birmingham and Essex lorry drivers strike threat over outsourcing

AROUND 500 Sainsbury’s lorry drivers based in Essex and Birmingham are being balloted for strike action over attempts to outsource their jobs.

The workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are directly employed by Sainsbury’s. The company, however, plans to transfer them to Wincanton at the end of April.

The transfer would result in the workers no longer being eligible for benefits they receive as Sainsbury’s employees. These include a 15 per cent Sainsbury’s discount card worth up to £1,600 a year in savings, as well as share save and incentive schemes.

In November last year, Sainsbury’s upgraded its profits forecast to between £670 and £700 million for 2023 having raked in £340 million for the six months to 16 September 2023.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Sainsbury’s is attempting to outsource its staff on the cheap. Meanwhile, its profits continue to grow. This is corporate greed pure and simple. Sainsbury’s lorry drivers have their union’s total support.”

The ballot for strike action opens this Monday (26 February) and closes on 11 March. Industrial action will cause severe disruption to deliveries from the distribution centres in Coleshill, Birmingham and Waltham Abbey, Essex to Sainsbury’s stores.

Unite national officer Matt Draper said: “There is still time to resolve this dispute before it escalates. But for that to happen, Sainsbury must get back around the negotiating table and put forward a deal our members can accept.”

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