Workers at a Marks & Spencer distribution centre, operated by logistics firm Wincanton, struck on 22 December against a plan by management to create a two-tier workforce by linking a new pay scheme to the introduction of worse terms for new starters.
The new deal would cut the hourly rate from £8 to £6.45 for new employees. The new package would also drastically lower shift premiums and overtime payments.
As well as the one-day strike, workers also launched an indefinite work-to-rule.
Unite regional officer, John McGookin said: “Our members have consistently indicated to Wincanton that their pay should not be linked to the introduction of inferior terms and conditions for new starters. This is a blatant attempt by Wincanton, on behalf of Marks & Spencer, to circumvent the Agency Workers Directive.
“Wincanton is not just content with getting its agency staff to sign all of its workers up to the Swedish Derogation — the loophole that thwarts pay parity progress — they are forcing colleagues to work alongside each other on inferior terms, while they reap the rewards in profits.”