DHL rigid

More than 300 warehouse staff at DHL Supply Chain’s Westfield site in Cumbernauld, Scotland have held two 24-hour stoppages in a dispute over pay.

However, around 30 HGV drivers who also backed the strikes in a ballot last month, withdrew from the action at the 11th hour after agreeing a deal with management.

The warehouse staff walked out on Friday 19 and Monday 22 October after they rejected a 2% over two years pay rise offer. union leaders said an overtime ban would remain in place with further strikes possible unless DHL improves its offer.

The Unite union, which represents 240 staff at the site, said the strike was “solid”, despite the drivers’ late withdrawal from action. “The drivers felt it was a deal they could accept,” said Unite regional officer Tony Devlin. “But the warehouse staff rejected theirs.”

Unite is also calling for clarity over the future of the site - which largely handles work for Marks & Spencer -  following 100 job losses in recent years and restructuring of the distribution network.

Devlin added: “We accepted cuts in the past and made proposals for the diversification of the business operation, but we have continuously been kept in the dark by DHL and M&S.”

A spokeswoman for DHL Supply Chain said: “Following a ballot last week (18 October), we are disappointed that warehousing staff at Cumbernauld have voted in favour of and undertaken strike action. However, transport colleagues voted in favour of accepting the same offer.

"We are working with Marks & Spencer to minimise the disruption to deliveries and are confident that stores will not be adversely affected. We now urge Unite to return to the negotiating table to reach a satisfactory outcome for both sides at the earliest opportunity, to avoid any long term damage to the business."