HGV drivers and shunters at Mullers’ Stonehouse factory will strike over imposed rota changes by the company that the Unite union claims will negatively impact the workers’ 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, flavoured milk and potted cream to M&S and Waitrose nationwide, will strike on 25, 26 and 27 August and 1, 2 and 3 September. More strikes will be set if the dispute is not resolved.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The company have deliberately broken an agreement ratified with Unite earlier this year that expressly stated rotas would not change. Unite will defend our members’ jobs, pay and conditions with the full force of the union. Muller signed an agreement – it must stick to it.”
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 also receive deliveries from the Stonehouse plant, could also be disrupted.
Unite regional officer Amy Roberts said: “Muller is acting in very bad faith and this behaviour will now impact their customers. Our members are resolute in their determination to force the company to abide by the original agreement.”
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 have 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 that deliveries of dairy products to our customers will not be affected.”