Pubs across the North West could see supplies of Greene King beer run dry as GXO lorry drivers and warehouse staff contracted to the brewery prepare to take rolling strike action in protest at a below inflation pay offer which they say imposes a real terms pay cut.

The GXO drivers deliver beer to Greene King pubs across the North West and up to the Lake District and Carlisle, from its Runcorn warehouse. Union Unite is warning that a series of strikes, planned to take place in November and December, could see taps run dry in pubs, leaving drinkers turning elsewhere for their pints in the run-up to Christmas.

The dispute centres around GXO’s pay offer of a 4% pay rise this year, which the workers, who are all members of Unite, have rejected, arguing that this is inadequate when inflation has run at over 9% for much of the year.

Strikes are set to to take place at the Runcorn warehouse on 23 November for 24 hours, followed by longer strikes on 30 November, 1 December and 6-8 December. Unite said that more dates for industrial action will be announced if members don’t receive a fair pay offer.


Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Both GXO and Greene King are incredibly wealthy companies which can fully afford to make our members a fair pay offer. Unite always prioritises the jobs pay and conditions of its members and the GXO workers on the Greene King contract will receive the union’s complete support. “

Greene King’s latest financial results showed profits of nearly £250m while GXO Logistics reported revenues over nearly £2.5bn for the past three months.

Unite regional officer John McColl added: “Greene King needs to make clear to its contractors to start paying a decent wage to our members or pubs will be running dry of their beer this Christmas. Greene King promises to ‘pour happiness’, they need to make our members happy or face more industrial action.”

GXO operates five dedicated sites for Greene King and it is understood that four of the five sites have accepted GXO’s pay offer.

A Greene King spokesperson said: “We are aware of an industrial dispute between our logistics partner GXO and some of its employees at the company’s depot in Runcorn. This depot supplies less than 10% of our pubs nationwide and we already have contingency plans in place to ensure the pubs it does supply will continue to receive their deliveries as normal from other depots.”

A GXO spokesperson added: “We believe our proposal is very fair, and we remain committed to maintaining an open dialogue with our employees and their representatives at all times. In the meantime, we are working closely with Greene King to ensure deliveries are maintained.”