Socialist Worker

Active strike at DHL, and action coming at British Gas

Issue No. 2736

Determined DHL pickets

Determined DHL pickets (Pic: Unite North West)


Striking Unite union members at DHL Supply Chain in Liverpool disrupted production at the Distribution centre on Monday. This was the third day of their eight-day strike. DHL distributes Burton biscuits to major stores throughout the region.

The strikers are demanding an end to what they claim is a bullying management culture and low pay.

When the minimum wage rate increases in April, the current wage levels will be just 2.5p an hour above it for the warehouse workers. The union is demanding 50p an hour above this level.

DHL is a hugely profitable company whose operating profit grew by 18.6 percent to £810 million in the second quarter of the year.

Despite a police presence, a combination of picketing and a car cavalcade by strikers ensured the Wagon Wheels and Jammie Dodgers were severely disrupted.

DHL bosses have called out police at least ten times to the site where 120 workers have been on strike since Saturday.

Unite union reps have called for supporters to join them in a show of solidarity on Wednesday 23 December from 6am. This is the last strike date before Christmas.

They would like supporters to join with them in a car cavalcade around the site. This tactic slows or stops the trucks getting in or out of the factory.

Further strikes are planned for 29 and 31 December and 3 and 4 January.

John Carr and Mark O'Brien

Join the protest, Wed 23 December from 6am, DHL, Portal Way (Off East Lancashire Road), Liverpool, L11 0JA. Messages of support to the Unite regional officer on 07720 703567.

No to fire and rehire at Britsh Gas

Over 7,000 British Gas workers are set to strike for five days in January over bosses’ “fire and rehire” plans.

The action is scheduled to begin on Thursday 7 January and end at midnight on Monday 11 January.

Further stoppages are expected to be announced.

Service and repair gas engineers will stop work. The GMB union says the only exceptions will be dealing with emergencies and problems for households with vulnerable people.

As well as the 4,500 service and repair gas engineers set to strike there will be 600 central heating installers, 540 electrical engineers, 170 specialist business gas engineers and 1,700 smart metering engineers.

The move comes after last week’s 89 percent vote in favour of strikes.

Centrica, British Gas’ parent company, wants to cut pay, terms and conditions.

Management issued an ultimatum for workers to agree to cuts by 23 December on pain of dismissal.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said, “British Gas and Centrica CEO Chris O’Shea must learn the lesson that workers don’t vote for pay cuts any more than turkeys vote for Christmas.

“GMB engineers in British Gas have overwhelmingly rejected Centrica’s proposals to cut pay and terms and conditions. These amount to little more than a zero-hours contract attached to a bonus scheme.

“These unacceptable proposals from British Gas would do extensive damage to the work-life balance of thousands of gas and electrical engineers across the country."


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