The threat of a beer draught later this month has increased as a result of around 1000 draymen, who deliver brands such as Heineken, have voted to begin strike action over a “paltry” pay offer.
According to union Unite, there will be two 24-hour strikes, with the first one starting on August 24 at 10am, followed by a strike on September 2 from 10am.
The industrial action will also include an overtime ban and work to rule from August 24 until November 15.
Unite said its members, employed by GXO Logistics offered its workers a 1.4 per cent pay increase, below the current RPI inflation rate of 3.9 per cent.
The union claims that it offered the company a “manageable inflation increases” which has since been declined.
Drivers are also said to be angered due to losses between £8000 and £10,000 during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted from the combined effects of furlough, poor overtime and lack of pay increase over 2020.
GXO Logistics Drinks are responsible for approximately 40 per cent of beer deliveries to pubs and hospitality outlets across the UK.
“Our members have suffered great financial hardship during the pandemic with some of them losing up to £10,000 through being furloughed and picking up no overtime, so it is no surprise that they have voted almost unanimously for industrial action”, Unite national officer for the drinks industry Joe Clarke said.
“Our mandate for such action is resounding and reflects the deep anger felt by our members over their treatment by the bosses.
“The company had offered a paltry 1.4 per cent which is well below the current RPI inflation rate of 3.9 per cent.
“Meanwhile, the draymen have been working flat out currently to meet the high demand for beer volumes in our pubs as society continues to reopen.”
Clarke added: “The threat of a late summer beer drought now increases for Britain’s thirsty beer drinkers as our members make 40 per cent of the beer deliveries in the country.
“This disruption would be on top of the ‘pingdemic’ and the well-publicised HGV driver shortages that are already hitting the sector.
“Now industrial action looms for late August, we call, once again, for the company to engage in meaningful negotiations regarding a decent pay increase for our members.”
A GXO spokesperson responded: “We favour dialogue in all our negotiations.
“Discussions are ongoing in order to reach agreement, in particular for the hospitality sector that is only now emerging from the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.