GMB Reading LR 2n4a3805

The GMB union has held a protest outside a Marks and Spencer retail store over the rates of pay awarded to agency staff at the retailer’s Swindon DC, which was operated until January by Wincanton and is now run by DHL Supply Chain.

Earlier this year, the union launched legal action against DHL, Wincanton, and two firms involved in the supply of agency staff to the site – Twenty Four Seven Recruitment Services and Tempay – after alleging that agency workers at the site were being paid £2/hour less than directly employed staff doing the same job.

The GMB believes the pay level of agency staff at the site is in contravention of the Agency Worker Regulations, which guarantee equal pay for agency staff after a qualifying period of 12 weeks; and has also suggested that a transfer of staff from Twenty Four Seven Recruitment Services to Tempay some time ago failed to follow the TUPE regulations.

While M&S does not run the site or employ either the regular staff or agency staff there, the GMB has claimed the payment of staff at the site is in breach of the retailer’s stated code of ethics and global sourcing principles.

The action held outside M&S’s flagship Oxford Street store in central London on Monday 2 November attracted around 50 protesters, GMB regional organiser Carole Vallelly told

It followed another similar protest at a store in Reading a few weeks ago (pictured).

M&S has declined to comment on the protests or the legal claim save to stress that it is DHL, not M&S, which runs the site and employs the staff there.

DHL has also declined to comment.

Twenty Four Seven Recruitment Services has not yet responded to a request for comment about the ongoing negotiations between it, Tempay and the GMB about pay rates at the site.

Tempay, which appears to trade from the same location as Twenty Four Seven Recruitment Services, could not be reached.

Binder Bansel, head of employment at the GMB’s solicitors Pattinson & Brewer, told back in June that a full hearing over the legal claim was expected next year.