Pre-Christmas pay fight in Marks& Spencer’s supply chain

RMT MEMBERS at DHL’s Neasden depot, supply chain partners of Marks and Spencer’s and a key transport and distribution hub for pre-Christmas deliveries, will strike again for 24 hours this Friday and Monday in an on-going dispute over pay and conditions.

Following a unanimous vote for action, and a rock solid strike on the 22nd October, RMT’s executive has instructed members as follows, not to book on for any shifts between:

· 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Friday 30th November 2012.

· 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Monday 3rd December 2012

Strike action scheduled for three weeks ago was suspended by RMT after management claimed that they were tabling an improved offer. However, after close scrutiny and consultation with members it was found that the “improved” offer was no such thing and as a result strike action is back on.

DHL are the supply chain partners of Marks and Spencer’s and the company have a veto over the pay and conditions of the DHL workforce. Attempts by DHL to make an earlier, improved offer to the Neasden depot staff were sabotaged by a direct intervention by Marks and Spencer’s who demanded that the offer be withdrawn.

The core of the dispute hinges on the fact that the Neasden workforce are on the same terms and conditions but on lower pay scales than those members at DHL Enfield. Despite attempts by RMT to negotiate a settlement here has also been no resolution so far to the union demands for harmonisation between the depots or the call for the company to honour paid breaks.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“RMT members have been led up the garden path by DHL. What was claimed to be an “improved” offer turned out to be no such thing and we detect once again the corrosive influence of Marks and Spencer’s in this dispute and that’s why we are back into strike action in the run up to Christmas at this key distribution depot.

“It is a scandal that the highly-profitable Marks and Spencer’s organisation are using strong arm tactics to drive down pay to poverty levels in the supply chain at DHL. While the board room is awash with cash they expect the staff who generate those profits to accept shockingly low pay and attacks on their living standards that are a national disgrace.

“RMT is urging members to stand firm together and support this action with the same 100% solidarity as they have shown in both the ballot for action and the earlier round of strike action. Previous unsatisfactory offers from the Company have all been rejected by the union as they do not meet the real increased cost of living. RMT remains available for talks but is down to Marks and Spencer’s to lift their veto and allow those talks on pay justice to commence.”

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