Morrisons prepares for disruption as staff begin three day strike

Morrisons is facing disruptions as almost 1,000 warehouse workers have gone on strike over a cut in company contributions to their pensions.

Unite, the union representing the workers, said the changes could leave employees at the supermarket giant “£500 worse off”.

Warehouse stock controllers, cooks, canteen staff and administrators at the depots, who earn between £12 and £13 an hour at the sites in Gadbrook, Cheshire and Wakefield, West Yorkshire, will be striking until 5am on 26 May.

Unite claims that workers are being “forced” to increase their pension contributions while Morrisons reduces its contributions by the same amount.

Until March, workers paid in 3% of pay into their pensions, while Morrisons contributed 5%. However, the new policy will see both the grocer and its employees paying 4% this financial year.

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According to The Guardian, the retailer said it would ultimately pay more into workers’ pensions due to the government’s planned changes to pension auto-enrolment rules, and that any loss in pension contributions per worker would be offset by the offered pay rise.

Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: “The strike action will inevitably cause shortages and empty shelves across Morrisons stores.”

Morrisons said the two warehouses would continue to operate, but at “reduced capacity”.

A spokesperson told The Guardian: “We have put in place detailed contingency plans across the business and are confident that our customers, stores, suppliers and partners will not be significantly affected.

“We have made a number of new proposals to Unite, including a 9% pay award, a new service award scheme, and improvements to the planned future pension scheme changes.

“Disappointingly, Unite has chosen to reject these new proposals without putting them to its members, and instead are continuing with strike action at two out of our seven logistics sites, initially over three days.”

It comes amid further strike action at Asda, which most recently saw workers at its Brighton Hollingbury superstore confirming the dates they will strike over what the GMB union describes as a “litany of workplace problems”.

It comes as the fourth in a series of strikes for Asda this year, including at Gosport, Wisbech and Lowestoft.



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