By Jeannie Robinson
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2786

Back Wincanton B&Q battle

An all out strike is boosting the struggle
Issue 2786
Eight strikers with large banner saying "Pay justice now"

Campaigning outside a B&Q store (Pic: James Eaden)

Over 400 warehouse workers at the B&Q distribution centre in Worksop, East Midlands are on indefinite strike in a pay dispute against bosses Wincanton Logistics Ltd.

The Unite union members voted to escalate strikes in the days before Christmas as their second round of seven-day strikes ended.

Workers had originally voted for alternate weeks of strikes followed by an overtime ban until the end of February.

Pat Mcgrath, Unite senior rep, said, “the mood is really good now we have moved to continuous action. We are confident this will bring management to the negotiating table.”

Action outside B&Q stores needs to spread. Delegations of strikers are being planned to lobby HQ buildings too.

Wincanton offered a 4 percent pay rise that was rejected by workers. They want at least 6 percent.

A number of the pickets complained that they had worked hard through the crisis as “essential” workers, while B&Q maximised its profits by being allowed to open.

The escalation is a strong sign of resistance by strikers against pay rises that are below inflation.

Unite has produced flyers and posters so people can leaflet outside B&Q stores. For copies contact [email protected]
 
  • Five unions representing workers in English further education colleges have condemned the decision by the Association of Colleges (AoC) to submit another 1 percent pay recommendation.

It is the bosses’ thirteenth offer below the rate of inflation in a row.

Workers will have to campaign and strike to win.

Recent strikes in a number of FE colleges have shown that it is possible to hit back and to win if there is serious resistance.

  • Outsourced cleaners at the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have had an increase in pay after strikes last year.

Members of the PCS union struck for three days in July 2021.

Bosses agreed in December to pay rates in line with the London Living Wage, backdated for 2021.

They also agreed pay will rise again in March this year 2022 in line with the London Living Wage or inflation, whichever is greater.

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