Staff at healthcare operator Movianto’s Bedford warehouse have spent the week striking in a row over union recognition.

Unite said 85 of its members had campaigned for it to be officially recognised for collective bargaining purposes but Movianto had “strongly resisted” the move.

It said nearly 80% of workers had voted to down tools and a picket line was established outside the company’s warehouse in Kempston all this week.

Movianto is a storage depot and distribution centre for medical equipment and medication. Unite’s members carry out warehouse functions such as pickers and forklift truck drivers and the union said strike action was likely to cause significant disruption to the medical centres’ Movianto supply.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Movianto has been given the time to come back to the table but are continuing to stick their fingers in their ears.

“Unite does what it says on the trade union tin – we fight for the jobs, pay and conditions of our members and those at Movianto have the full support of their union in this fight for trade union representation.”

Unite regional officer Richard Gates added: “Our members are being forced to head to the picket line as Movianto refuses to seriously engage with Unite over formal recognition. This is something our members clearly want, as shown by the overwhelming ballot result.”

Movianto did not respond to a request for comment, but before Christmas the company said it was dedicated to creating an environment where its team members could discuss matters that were affecting staff: “We remain committed to open dialogue and constructive engagement to address any concerns and uphold a positive working relationship with our valued team members,” it said in a statement.