Sainsbury’s drivers handed extra £2.2k after strike warning

More than 200 Sainsbury’s lorry drivers have won a 6.2 per cent pay rise after threatening to leave shelves “empty” across London.

The workers, employed by DHL at a Dartford warehouse, will now earn £2200 extra per year.

They voted for industrial action in late August when, amid a national shortage of hauliers, the logistics company offered a one per cent pay rise.

Unite regional officer Phil Silkstone warned there would be “empty shelves in Sainsbury’s stores across London and the South East of England” without a better offer.

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“HGV driver shortages are all over the news, so how DHL thought it was going to get away with an insulting offer of a one per cent pay rise is beyond me,” he said.

Around 90 per cent of members voted to accept the latest proposal.

Unite General secretary Sharon Graham said that by “standing firm”, the Dartford workers had “secured a pay deal that reflects their worth”.

Hauliers are so in demand that wages are thought to have soared by over a tenth between February and July.

A number of supermarkets have offered four-figure bonuses for new recruits.

According to Iceland boss Richard Walker, some of its drivers are earning £900 a shift, which works out to £250,000 a year.

“Even a junior banker might start to feel tempted,” he said.

The UK is estimated to have a shortfall of around 100,000 lorry drivers.

A DHL spokesperson said: “We’re pleased the current pay talks have been satisfactorily concluded and we look forward to supporting our customer in the months ahead.”

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