Milk Supplies In North Of England To Be Hit Over Easter As Gmb Dispute Looms Over Union Rights And Cuts In Jobs And Terms And Conditions
Members are incredibly upset and angry as they feel that Arla is relinquishing all responsibility for a long-serving, loyal workforce says GMB.
Milk supplies to supermarkets – Tesco, Aldi, Morrison and ASDA in the north of England - could be disrupted over the Easter holiday unless GMB members currently employed as drivers by Arla Foods have their pay and conditions protected when they are transferred to a new employer.
Arla Foods, based in Leeds, have decided to transfer drivers (under TUPE regulation - Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)) to Moran Logistics, also based in Leeds. The transfer of the drivers occurs on Sunday (8 March).
GMB and Unite plan to service notice on Moran’s Logistics on Monday (9 March) for a ballot for strike action and/or industrial action short of a strike if the assurances sought on pay and jobs are not forthcoming. Given all the notice periods the aim is to conclude the balloting process by the third week in March.
Rachel Dix, GMB Regional Officer, said: “Our members are incredibly upset and angry. They feel that Arla is relinquishing all responsibility for a long-serving, loyal workforce.
This is compounded by the company's refusal to share key information on how cost savings can be generated by this transfer. In the absence of this detail, we can only conclude that both pay and jobs will be put at risk. This has to be challenged.
GMB is of the view that that Danish-owned Arla and Morans Logistics are in cahoots to attack the pay, and terms and conditions of our members.
We cannot accept that Moran Logistics will not recognise the two unions for collective bargaining purposes on behalf of the drivers.”
Matt Draper, Unite national officer for road transport, said: “Unless Morans Logistics gets around the table for meaningful negotiations about recognising the unions and guaranteeing our members’ terms and conditions, the drivers could be striking over the forthcoming Easter holiday.
The drivers, with over 1000 years of loyal service, are being dumped by Arla - the company has repeatedly refused to share with the two unions the financial information to support this decision.
The continued refusal to supply this data endorses the joint unions belief that pay and conditions will be attacked once the transfer has been completed. Morans refusal to recognise the unions strengthens this view further.
Both Arla and Morans have treated these loyal workers with utter contempt, refusing to supply the necessary supporting evidence. Arla has evaded its moral obligation. Both companies are complicit in attacking our members terms and conditions.”
Contact: GMB Rachel Dix 07958 156839 or 0845 337 7777 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or Unite Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 and/or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.