Socialist Worker

Deal ends strike at DHL, but don’t trust the bosses

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2741

Picketing stopped some deliveries

Picketing stopped some deliveries (Pic: Unite North West)


Drivers and warehouse staff in Liverpool have ended their dispute with DHL. Bosses made an improved offer that was accepted by the strikers.

Unite union members have struck for ten days since December over low pay, victimisation of workers and a “complete breakdown of industrial relations”.

Strikes were set to be held on Monday and Tuesday of this week, with more days expected to be announced.

But these have now been called off.

Workers will receive a 3 percent pay increase for 2020, backdated to April last year. And they will receive a further 3 percent and £75 for 2021.

DHL has also committed to “ongoing outside influence to change the workplace culture and improve industrial relations”.

Unite regional officer Kenny Rowe said, “Unite has taken at face value DHL’s commitment to improve industrial relations and end the victimisation and bullying culture that has been so corrosive at its Portal Way depot.

“However, DHL needs to be fully aware that if it fails to honour its promises then Unite will not allow its members to be mistreated.

“It will consider all avenues to protect them including fresh industrial action.”

Strong

Rowe told Socialist Worker last week that the 120-strong workforce has “stayed strong” and that DHL “underestimates the resolution of our members to ballot again”.

The improvement on what was originally offered is the result of powerful workers’ action.

DHL strikers won’t give up on pay fight
DHL strikers won’t give up on pay fight
  Read More

It shows militancy wins change.

But more strikes could have won a firmer commitment from DHL about changing management’s bullying culture.

This dispute should have ended with some managers sacked, not corporate waffle about change.

Unite must be ready to take DHL on again should the company fail to uphold its commitment.

Throughout the dispute DHL workers showed their strength.

They need to continue to fight against attacks by management whenever they arise.


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