Pay row sparks drivers’ strike action at Sainsbury’s

London, UK: Deliveries to about 100 Sainsbury’s stores in London and the south east will be severely hit over the Christmas period as 12 drivers working for an outsourced firm stage six days of strikes over a £12,000 disparity in wages.

The 12 drivers, employed by Harper & Guy Consulting at the Sainsbury’s Waltham Abbey distribution centre, have voted for strike action as they are paid £12,000 less a year than those directly employed by Sainsbury’s.

The drivers, who do a lot of hub collections, bringing goods into the distribution system, will strike for 24 hours on 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 December, as well as from 18.00 on Boxing Day to 17.59 on 27 December.

Unite regional officer Paul Travers said “What we have here is one of the most flagrant cases of pay parity injustice that I have been involved with, as our members are getting paid £12,000-a-year less than their counterparts employed directly by Sainsbury’s doing the same job at the Waltham Abbey depot.

“We feel that that Harper & Guy Consulting Ltd is hiding behind Covid-19 as a flimsy excuse not to engage in pay talks for 2020 and the glaring pay disparity issue.

“As a result of this hardline stance, our members are reluctantly taking six days of strike action that will badly affect deliveries to about 100 Sainsbury’s stores in London and the south east in the run-up to and over the Christmas period.”

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