UK pub delivery drivers in strike ballot13th August, 2013 by Andy Young
Nearly 1,000 workers at transport and logistics company Kuehne + Nagel Drinks Logistics (KNDL) are being balloted over strike action this week.
Unite, the country’s largest union, started balloting its 970 driver, drayman and warehouse members at 27 sites in England, Scotland and Wales today (Tuesday, 13 August) for strike action and industrial action short of a strike. The ballot closes on Wednesday 28 August.
The union is in dispute with the company over the National Ways Agreement, which governs the terms and conditions of the workforce.
Unite national officer for the food and drinks sector Rhys McCarthy said: “In recent months the management at KNDL has rode roughshod over the national agreement and has unilaterally started imposing changes to working conditions for our members without meaningful consultation.
“Unite’s repeated attempts to rectify these breaches have been met with intransigence by the management and, as a last resort, our members are being balloted for industrial action.
“We call on the management to enter into constructive talks with Unite immediately to restore good industrial relations by adhering to the national agreement that they signed up to.”
In a statement KNDL said: “KN Drinks Logistics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global logistics provider Kuehne + Nagel confirms that the company has received formal notification from the trade union Unite of the intention to hold a ballot for industrial action.
“The company is fully committed to ongoing dialogue with Unite and plans to meet with union representatives on 29 August to discuss the situation further.”
KNDL supplies pubs and the hospitality industry across the UK and should industrial action take place, Unite warns that it will hit the deliveries of brand names such as Heineken, Kronenbourg, Shepherd Neame and John Smith’s.
Some of the sites being balloted include Aberdeen, Birmingham, Manchester, Croydon, Liverpool and Bristol.