About 1,000 warehouse staff employed by Argos at five distribution centres will strike for 24 hours on Friday (4 July) in a dispute over terms and conditions which will mean increased weekend working, adversely impacting on family life.
Unite, the country’s largest union that represents the workers, predicts that the disruption to customer deliveries by the online shopping giant will be ‘substantial.’
The strike, starting at 06:00 on Friday, will hit the company’s internal distribution centres at Basildon, Bridgwater, Castleford and Magna Park (Lutterworth, Leicestershire). The strike at Heywood (Greater Manchester) starts at 06.30.
Unite national officer for road transport and logistics, Matt Draper said: “The crux to the dispute is Argos’ determination to push through a new 24/7 shift pattern, without offering our members a decent compensation package to offset the severe disruption to their personal and family lives at weekends.
“In many cases, it is going to cause havoc with childcare arrangements and mean spouses and partners will see much less of each other. The company’s plans will seriously undermine the ‘work/life’ balance.
“Some of our members already work weekends, but that was agreed with Unite. The new proposals impact much more on family life. The management has offered a one-off payment of £2,400, which, quite frankly, is woefully inadequate, given the massive changes in shift patterns that are being proposed for the years ahead.
“The proposals also include a new measuring system for their work which, we believe, could be used as a tool to dismiss workers.
“We urge the employer to return to the negotiating table and relax the new strict criteria. This would allow us to reach agreement, once the management has recognised the impact its plans will have on our members’ lives.
“We predict that Friday’s strike will cause substantial disruption to the deliveries to customers.”
The workers previously staged a 24 hour strike on 15 June against these plans.