Workers at the Tradeteam distribution firm across Britain are preparing to vote on strikes after bosses announced plans to close the Sheffield depot in Tinsley, putting more than 200 jobs at risk.
Tradeteam is part of DHL, the world’s largest logistics company.
Unite union national officer for road transport and logistics Matt Draper said, “This is a disgrace and about as brutal a wielding of corporate power as you will see across the UK employment landscape.
“The workers are currently furloughed on 80 percent of pay as DHL has refused to top up the final 20 percent that employers are expected to do under the government’s job retention scheme.
“This is a loyal workforce with hundreds of years of service—they have been betrayed.
The Sheffield depot serves companies such as Carlsberg, Coors, Mitchells & Butlers, and Whitbread. These are all likely to bounce back as lockdown eases.
Draper added, “DHL has taken the taxpayer for a ride here, as it must have known it was going to shut Tinsley, but decided to use furlough to avoid paying wages.
“Now it wants the taxpayer to continue to pick up the bill as it throws employees on the scrapheap.
“Unite had requested a meeting with Tradeteam. A meeting has been agreed for Thursday this week. At the moment we are seeing the true duplicitous and cynical face of DHL and Tradeteam.
“We call on Tradeteam to revoke its decision not to reopen Tinsley immediately, or face the prospect of a national strike, once the lockdown is eased.”
Tradeteam describes itself as “the UK’s leading drinks logistics business with a turnover of £160 million per annum. It has depots from Aberystwyth to Wolverhampton and national action could hit it hard.
Unite must fight to save Tinsley and every job. Bosses should not be allowed to get away with wrecking people’s lives.