HGV drivers and shunters at Mullers’ Stonehouse factory will begin a fresh round of strike action this week over imposed rota changes that are detrimental to their quality of life.
The change to a five days on two days off rota system contravenes an agreement with Unite signed by the company earlier this year.
Nearly 70 staff, responsible for delivering milk and other dairy products to M&S and Waitrose nationwide, have taken nine days of strike action since 25 August.
A further six days of strike action will take place on 22, 23, 24, 29 and 30 September and 1 October. More strikes are set to be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Muller’s knows very well that the new rotas will negatively impact our members’ quality of life because it recently signed a deal with Unite ruling such changes out. So, Muller should step back from breaking that agreement. Our members have Unite’s full backing in the stand they are taking.”
The strikes will disrupt the supply chain of milk products to the Muller sites’ main customers, M&S and Waitrose. Supplies to Sainsbury’s and Tesco, which receive deliveries from the Stonehouse plant, will also be disrupted.
Unite regional officer Amy Roberts said: “Our members will not move until Muller keeps its promises. The impact the strikes will have on Muller’s customers is a direct consequence of the company’s bad faith actions. Muller signed an agreement; it needs to abide by it.”
A spokesperson for Müller Milk & Ingredients said: “Following the introduction of rota changes which reflect the evolving needs of our business, a small number of logistics employees at our Severnside site voted in favour of industrial action.
“It is important to stress that these changes do not relate to pay and we have thorough plans in place to ensure deliveries of dairy products to our customers will not be affected.”