Northamptonshire logistics firm workers balloted over strike action

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Nearly 1,000 workers at a transport and logistics firm are being balloted this week for industrial action over alleged breaches in working agreements.

Unite union started balloting its 970 driver, drayman and warehouse members at 27 Kuehne + Nagel Drinks Logistics (KNDL) sites, including those in Northampton, on Tuesday, August 13, for strike action and industrial action short of a strike. The ballot closes on Wednesday, August 28.

Unite national officer for the food and drinks sector Rhys McCarthy said: “In recent months the management at KNDL has rode roughshod over the national agreement and has unilaterally started imposing changes to working conditions for our members without meaningful consultation.

“Unite’s repeated attempts to rectify these breaches have been met with intransigence by the management and, as a last resort, our members are being balloted for industrial action.

“We call on the management to enter into constructive talks with Unite immediately to restore good industrial relations by adhering to the national agreement that they signed up to.”

The company supplies pubs and the hospitality industry. Should industrial action take place, it could hit the deliveries of such brand names as Britvic soft drinks, Heineken, Kronenbourg, Shepherd Neame and John Smith’s.

The sites being balloted are at: Aberdeen; Bathgate (West Lothian); Birmingham; Bristol; Chandlers Ford (Hampshire); Carlisle; Croydon; Dagenham; Devizes (Wiltshire); Dundee; Faversham (Kent); Greenford (Middlesex); Inverness; Liverpool; Manchester; Newark (Nottinghamshire); Northampton; Norwich; Plymouth; Preston; Reading; Stockton-on-Tees (Cleveland); Swansea; Wakefield; Warrington; Washington (Tyne and Wear); and Welwyn Garden City.