Unite writes to senior DHL management to demand pay increase after consultative ballot returns 100 percent in favour of strike ballot over proposed pay freeze
Unite warns of potential disruption to M&S supply should ballot proceed as DHL drivers and warehouse workers angered over zero percent pay imposition whilst the same highly profitable company has the ability to fund a pay increase of up to 5 percent to other DHL employees
George Brash, Unite Regional Officer demanded DHL bosses move quickly and reverse course to avoid a ballot on strike action following a 100 percent rejection by DHL workers servicing M&S of proposals to freeze their pay.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has been good for Deutsche Post DHL. The company recently issued preliminary results for the financial year 2020 showing annual turnover surged to €66 billion and profits (EBIT) rose dramatically to more than €4.8 million. These are huge figures and show the growth in demand for parcel deliveries during the Covid-19 pandemic. And yet this same company sees fit to impose a zero percent pay freeze on drivers and warehouse workers working on the M&S supply chain.
“The CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group, Frank Appel, has written to tell workers that the profits made reflected ‘how tirelessly you have been there for our customers and their customers over the past several months’. Such generous words are no substitute for a pay increase – especially when the company is making billions in profits.
“While DHL has offered a 5 percent pay increase to other DHL workers, drivers and warehouse workers servicing M&S have been told they must endure a pay freeze. In justifying this, DHL has attempted to hide behind its customer base – in this case M&S – but our members will not accept being treated as second-class or pay the price and suffer hardship to further fill the pockets of greedy bosses.
“While the Covid pandemic has been good for DHL, it has meant only hardship to our members. They were effectively subjected to a 20 percent pay cut during the lockdown as DHL refused to top up the 80 percent government wage supports. Like everyone else, our members have experienced the extra costs from the lockdown and now are experiencing the sharp rise in price inflation which has followed Brexit. A pay freeze in nominal terms is in reality is a real-terms pay cut. M&S drivers and warehouse workers face the prospect of falling into abject poverty.
“In response to this shameful imposition on workers, Unite conducted a consultative postal ballot of DHL M&S Contract workers. The result of which was a 100% unanimous yes vote in support of strike action if DHL remain intransigent in their zero percent pay offer position. There is deep-seated anger among the workforce at how they have been treated and a determination to secure fair pay.
“DHL bosses have an opportunity ahead of our meetings with drivers and warehouse workers to reconsider their shameful zero percent offer. It is vital that they seize it to avoid a ballot on strike action and the serious disruption to M&S supply chains that would result from industrial action”, Mr Brash concluded.
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