DHL is “disappointed” that warehouse workers at its Thurrock site have voted to strike on 5 June in a dispute over pay and employment conditions.

The 51 workers of DHL Supply Chain and Unite union members voted unanimously for the 24-hour strike action, claiming they face poorer working conditions when the contract and their jobs are transferred to NFT Distribution on 6 June.

Unite claimed NFT had no union recognition, there would be different shift patterns for the workers, they’d be travelling further to the new site at Tilbury eight miles away, pension provisions were poorer and there had been a failure to guarantee pay, terms and conditions for the rest of the contract.

Unite regional officer Mary Hackwood said its members voted by 100% in favour of the 24 hour strike action: “Unite believes that that a vicious cost-cutting agenda is at play here,” she said.

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“Strike action is set for 5 June and if this happens it will mean disruption to supplies for the current customer Upfield, a leading producer of plant-based spreads.

“However, there is a still time for the managements at DHL and NFT to get around the table with Unite to enter into meaningful negotiations to retain the present employment conditions that our members enjoy.”

NFT Distribution Schmitz Cargobull group

A spokeswoman for DHL Supply Chain said more talks were in the pipeline: “We are disappointed that Unite has announced its intention to hold a day of strike action at the Thurrock site on Wednesday 5 June,” she added.

“Further talks are scheduled to reach a satisfactory outcome for both parties but contingency plans are in place and every effort will be made to minimise disruption to customer deliveries should the strike action go ahead.”

NFT Distribution did not respond.