Argos workers begin three-week strike

Over redundancy arrangements

Workers at Argos’ distribution centres have begun three weeks of strikes over redundancy arrangements today.

Unite union members have gathered outside a distribution sites in Basildon in Essex, Bridgwater in Somerset and Castleford & Heywood in West Yorkshire on the first day of the strikes that will continue until Tuesday 5th September 2017.

Unite said it is worried about the company’s intentions and has accused Argos of failing to guarantee that all its logistics site workers’ future terms and conditions will be safeguarded.

Unite have warned that deliveries to customers will be severely hit by the strike, they said: “These strikes will enormously affect deliveries to Argos customers as the firm works on ‘a just in time’ delivery policy. Even the smallest disruption or delay will adversely impact on the supply chain.”

An Argos spokesperson denied there would be disruption to customers and said: “Customers will not be impacted and should be reassured that full contingency plans are in place.

“We’re disappointed with the union’s actions, which are based on unreasonable demands and are wholly unnecessary. This dispute isn’t about pay and benefits. It’s not about job losses. The union has made a series of demands based on entirely theoretical scenarios.”

Workers voted to strike after Argos, which is now owned by Sainsbury’s, transferred almost 500 workers from its Lutterworth distribution hub in Leicestershire to Wincanton Logistics, 25 miles away in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

Matt Draper, Unite national officer for logistics and retail distribution, said: “What we are faced with is the thin end of the wedge with Sainsbury’s pulling the strings behind the scenes - and that the not-so-hidden agenda is serious cost-cutting to the detriment of our members.

“The transfer of the workers from Lutterworth to the Wincanton site at Kettering, whether they wanted to go or not, led to this strike ballot.”

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