STRIKE ACTION by workers at Sainsbury’s distribution depot in Haydock forced the company to increase its pay offer. The workers, members of the Usdaw union, voted to accept the deal which brings their pay up to £7.60 an hour, with shift allowances on top. The vote was 426 for the deal, and 218 against.
‘People feel we have won something,’ said Steve, one of the workers. ‘We’ve come a long way from the original £6.19 an hour, which was Sainsbury’s first offer before we went on strike. It means we get an extra £74 a week on the basic rate. We needed a strike at Haydock. We’d had years of them messing us around. We’re not known for being militants here and I’m hoping we’ll take the union a bit further forward. This isn’t the end of it.’
The workers were on £5.75 an hour and a bonus scheme that forced them to aim for unachievable targets to increase their pay. Anger at that, and management bullying, led to four one-day strikes that forced Sainsbury’s to increase their offer. But the 218 workers who voted against the offer clearly felt more could have been won.
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle