08:00 Monday 14 January 2013

Threat of strike action on hold at distribution hub

Written byBY ROB SMYTH

WORKERS at a depot employing hundreds of Burton people have decided to put off a ballot on potential strike action – as new bosses look set to take over the running of the site.

More than 100 employees packed into the Holiday Inn Hotel, in Centrum 100, to discuss on-going issues at the B&Q depot in Burton Road, Branston, which it is claimed have left some workers with so little money that they are eating only one meal a day to ensure their children get to eat three times.

The shocking revelation came after it was disclosed that union Unite was attempting to secure a pay rise for staff with CEVA Logistics, which runs the centre under contract from the DIY giant.

In December, a ballot was set to be called over strike action but this has now been put on hold as the running of the warehouse will change from CEVA to Wincanton on February 1.

However, union bosses have warned that a ballot for strike action will take place in early February if an acceptable offer is not made once the change of management has taken place.

Unite regional officer, Rick Coyle, said: “This is not going to go away. The case for better pay is overwhelmingly strong.

“Unite are bending over backwards to be reasonable and find a deal. It’s time the employers showed good faith and did the same.

“We have given B&Q two options. One is to authorise Ceva to improve its offer at our ACAS stage meeting this week.

“The other is to authorise Wincanton to give us an improved offer on February 1 when they take over.”

Members voted unanimously to be balloted for a strike if a deal isn’t reached by February 4. Members have also agreed to begin a series of protests and demonstrations to coincide with the start of any strike ballot.

The union is campaigning for what it considers a living wage at the site and an end of pay rates between £6.57 and £7.35.

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