UK catalogue retailer Argos faces three weeks of strikes across its distribution network in a dispute over the failure of the company to negotiate a national agreement covering redundancy and severance packages.Unite, the country’s largest union which represents the 1,100 workers affected, warned that deliveries to customers will be severely hit. Strikes by the warehouse staff began early in the morning of Tuesday 15 August and will continue until early in the morning of Tuesday 5 September.
Bridgwater Trades Union Council Secretary Dave Chapple urged local people to support the action saying “Unite ARGOS Bridgwater picket lines are from 5.30am till 3pm so try and get along to give solidarity from your union.” His call was backed by UNITE delegate and Bridgwater Labour Councillor Brian Smedley who said “Argos are clearly being unreasonable and the Union is simply seeking guarantees about their members futures including relocation packages, agreed redundancy or severance terms and challenging future attacks on their terms and conditions. They should be supported.”
Four Sites Out
The four sites at Basildon in Essex, Bridgwater in Somerset, Castleford (West Yorkshire) and Heywood (Greater Manchester), covered by the employer/union national forum, will be joined by workers at the Barton Business Park, Burton-on-Trent who wish to be covered by the forum.
Thin End of the Wedge
Unite national officer for logistics and retail distribution Matt Draper said: “What we are faced with is the thin end of the wedge with Sainbury’s pulling the strings behind the scenes – and that the not-so-hidden agenda is serious cost-cutting to the detriment of our members.