XPO Logistics Drinks staff balloted for pay strike

XPO Logistics Drinks drivers and warehouse staff are being balloted over potential industrial action following a 1.4% pay rise offer.

Staff have been asked by workers union Unite to vote regarding strike action against the business, which has its 1,000 employees and runs 26 sites across the UK that supply major brands such as Heineken to pubs and other premises, between today (28 July) and 9 August.

Unite has been pushing for staff to get 3.9% more pay instead, as employees reportedly went without a pay rise in 2020 and missed out on up to £10,000 in wages due to furlough and a lack of overtime.

The union’s national officer for the drinks industry Joe Clarke explained that members have suffered “great financial hardship” during the pandemic, with the union calling upon the employer to engage in meaningful negotiations regarding a “decent” pay increase for members that is not below the current RPI inflation rate of 3.9%.

“The [employer] has responded by offering a paltry 1.4%, meanwhile the drivers and warehouse staff are working flat out currently to meet the high demand for beer volumes in our pubs as society reopens. However, a beer drought could result if our members vote for industrial action, because they make 40% of the beer deliveries in the country. This disruption would be on top of the pingdemic that is already hitting the sector,” he said.

Unite has also accused the organisation of putting members at risk after stopping Covid-19 (Coronavirus) secure cleaning processes at a time when infections are rising.

An XPO spokesperson added that the business favours dialogue in all negotiations and it remains open for further conversations to seek agreement in a hospitality sector that is starting to come out of the lockdown’s impact.

“Protecting our employees is our number one priority. We’re working closely with the local authorities and adhering to all local and Public Health England guidance to ensure the appropriate health and safety measures are in place,” the spokesperson said.