DHL Supply Chain is facing further strike action at its Liverpool depot this week after negotiations over pay and conditions collapsed.

The 120-strong workforce of drivers and warehouse staff will strike tomorrow and Thursday (20 and 21 January) with six further strike dates planned across the first two weeks in February.

The move follows a breakdown in negotiations over pay and conditions at the depot which operates the delivery contract for Burton's Biscuit Company and AB World Foods. Brands include Wagon Wheels, Jammie Dodgers, the Patak curry range and the Blue Dragon Chinese food range.

The two parties agreed to enter into ACAS negotiations after strike action in December. Tensions flared during the strike action after police were called in repeatedly by DHL management at the site who claimed the strikers were breaking social distancing rules.

Unite is asking for a pay hike for warehouse workers who it says are paid just above the minimum wage at present. The union also claims there is “systematic victimisation” of workers at the site.

In a statement this week, Unite claimed the ACAS negotiations broke down after DHL “reneged on its promise, only offering a three-year deal rather than two years, with no significant pay increase being offered.”

Unite regional officer Kenny Rowe said: “The wheels have fallen off the Wagon Wheel negotiations and fresh strikes at DHL will occur this week.

“The strikes will inevitably result in disruption to Burton's Biscuits and AB World Food brands across the UK.

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“While customers will be disappointed by these shortages they need to understand this is directly due to the greed of DHL.

“This is an extremely lucrative contract yet our members are being asked to survive on poverty rates of pay.

“Unite suspended strike action in good faith and DHL responded to that initiative with an entirely unacceptable offer that in no way meets workers’ needs.

“Throughout the dispute, the way that DHL management has sought to demonise workers taking legal strike action has been deplorable and has dramatically increased industrial tensions.

“Strikes will continue unless DHL makes a significantly improved pay offer.”

Unite national officer Matt Draper said: “DHL’s insulting offer of less than the equivalent cost of half a packet of Jammie Dodgers per hour is offensive to its loyal key workers, who have continued to work throughout the coronavirus crisis, whilst DHL bosses continue to rack up the profits earned during the pandemic.”

A spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain said: “We are disappointed that ACAS talks with Unite have not resolved the current pay negotiations at the Liverpool multiuser site.

“The company has offered what it believes to be very reasonable options on pay and regrettably if Unite continues with its planned strike action then we will invoke our robust operational contingency plans as we did prior to Christmas.

“The company is committed to resolving the current situation and avoiding the strike action that Unite has called for and believes that constructive dialogue is the route to a satisfactory outcome.”