Socialist Worker

Iceland strikers call for support

Issue No. 2031

Some 350 Iceland strikers struck and dozens joined picket lines again today (Friday), faced by security guards. They are hitting the company hard but need your backing.

The strikes are in protest at a 2.4 per cent pay increase imposed by DHL Exel – which runs the operations for Iceland – and the failure of the contactor to pass on any of the productivity and efficiency gains made by the 115 drivers and 250 warehouse staff.

The Enfield site delivers to about 180 Iceland stores in London and across the South East and East Anglia including stores in Norwich, Norfolk, Ipswich, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex and Kent.

Iceland bosses have reacted vehemently to deny claims by the T&G union that management tactics were leading to some food defrosting (see statement below).

T&G senior regional industrial organiser Peter Kavanagh has said, “Our drivers report that in several Iceland stores around the South East they have seen  piles of defrosting turkeys and other food which won’t fit in the supermarkets’ refrigerated storage facilities.

“Obviously, managements have ordered in extra supplies in a bid to circumvent the strike action, and they have nowhere to put the overflow.

“I’m sure Iceland customers will think carefully before stocking up with these foodstuffs, and they’ll probably have some questions for store managers.”

Three things you can do to support the Iceland strikers:

  1. Send a message of support to the strikers via pkavanagh@tgwu.org.uk
  2. Complain to Iceland at the treatment of the strikers and make clear you wn’t be shopping at Iceland unless the workers win justice. Call the “friendly customer care team' on 01244 842842, write to Iceland Foods Ltd, Second Avenue, Deeside Industrial Park, Deeside, Flintshire CH5 2NW or send an e-mail via the website at www.iceland.co.uk
  3. If you can, join the picket line from 2am onwards at Solar Way Enfield EN3. The next strike is Thursday 21 and Friday 22 December.

Would you be interested in leafleting stores asking people not to shop at Iceland? E-mail icelandstrike@yahoo.com


A statement from Iceland

The Enfield distribution centre is managed by a third party, DHL Exel.  We are working closely together with our partner to minimise impact and maximise store availability during this busy period.

Management and experienced driver trainers oversee all aspects of the loading and despatch process to ensure all the correct procedures are adhered to.

There are two controlled temperatures set, frozen at -25c and chilled at +3c.

These temperatures were checked prior to departure, records will be available for inspection.

The temperatures are then checked upon arrival at each store.

Any products which are found to be out of the designated temperature bands are highlighted to the depot store liaison team and action is then taken to arrange for the return of the stock and replacement goods to be sent as per standard protocol.

Store staff were asked, and agreed to open stores early in order to receive their deliveries and thereby maintain all products at the correct temperature.

We are confident that all appropriate storage procedures are being followed, in order to maintain the quality of service our customers expect.


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