DHL Tradeteam is facing the threat of industrial action less than a month after it began integrating Carlsberg UK’s secondary logistics operation into one of its depots.
Unite members at DHL Tradeteam’s Enfield depot claim working conditions for the 70 drivers, dray and warehouse staff have seriously deteriorated since the firm took over the Carlsberg contract.
It said one truck has already been involved in an accident since work began at the beginning of October, and staff were struggling with excessive workloads.
The union warned that if the situation was not resolved, it would ballot members for industrial action.
Carlsberg outsourced the secondary logistics contract to DHL Tradeteam from its own-account operation last year, and the operation went live in July.
The deal, which boosted DHL Tradeteam’s market share in the secondary drinks logistics sector from 30% to 40%, was subject to an investigation from the Competition and Markets Authority in January. The operator was found to have sufficient competition in the sector.
When it announced the deal, Carlsberg said its intention was to outsource its entire secondary logistics operation to DHL Tradeteam by the end of 2018.
But Unite regional officer Paul Travers said the new contract raised serious health and safety issues for DHL Tradeteam employees at Enfield, with drivers “physically drained by the bosses’ unreasonable demands”.
- DHL Tradeteam to commence Carlsberg UK secondary logistics integration next month
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- Bill Bacon appointed DHL Tradeteam MD
The site also services businesses including Greene King, Coors and Mitchells and Butlers.
“Our members are being treated appallingly following the advent of the Carlsberg contact,” said Travers. “This additional work, which has not been taken into account by the management, is the straw that has broken the camel’s back.”
He added: “We have already seen one lorry involved in an accident, something we warned would happen many times over recent weeks; thankfully, no one was hurt.”
A DHL Tradeteam spokesman said: “We are aware of Unite’s concerns, which were aired at a meeting earlier this month. Further talks are planned and we look forward to working together to resolve the union’s concerns and reach a satisfactory outcome for all parties.”
But Travers said: “The company has met with us on two occasions, however the situation is getting worse. Management are talking, but doing nothing to address members’ issues.
“Drivers are suffering with the stresses of trying to make timed deliveries around London, but their lorries are either loaded late and/or loaded poorly. We have concerns that there will soon be a serious accident.”