Sainsbury’s Waltham Point warehouse staff go on strike

Sainsbury's strike
// More than 100 staff at Sainsbury’s Waltham Point warehouse take part in strike action today
// It is over a dispute over changes to its absence policy
// The Waltham Point warehouse is Sainsbury’s biggest depot and serves all London stores

More than 100 workers at the Sainsbury’s distribution depot in Waltham Point are on strike today over a dispute regarding changes to the retailer’s absence policy.

It comes after 73 per cent of union members voted in favour of industrial action earlier this month.

The Waltham Point depot – located near the M25 in Essex – is the largest of 23 operated by Sainsbury’s, employing over 1200 people and covering over 700,000sq ft.

Around 380 Usdaw members work at the warehouse and turnout at the ballot for the strike was 67 per cent.

The staff will be on strike for 24 hours, having started at 6am this morning.

At the time the ballot was cast, Usdaw said it would host “a series” of 24-hour strikes if Sainsbury’s continued to refuse negotiating its absence policy changes.

“Our members have not taken lightly the decision to strike,” divisional officer Nigel Scully said.

“We sincerely hope that the company returns to the negotiating table, as soon as possible, with a reasonable offer that could resolve this dispute.”

Earlier this month, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We have contingency plans in place to minimise any disruption this may cause our customers.”

Last year Sainsbury’s announced it would increase hourly pay for its store workers from a base rate of £8.00 to £9.20 per hour.

For colleagues working in stores in Zones 1 and 2 of London, this will increase to £9.80 per hour.

Those increases came at the expense of paid breaks and bonuses, although workers have been promised another review of their pay in March 2020.

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    • This is why these company’s are in the sh*t, they get accounts to run them instead of retail management. People are just statistics to them.

      • Well said.people are just numbers a series of timed movements that costs them money.they do all they can to make it impossible to actually do your job for them.we need more strikes.

      • Try one in the north east, they expect you to work your arse off. 30hrs a week Im there and no way Im going at speed, got a daughter at home to keep up with lol need energy for that.

  1. Why is this not bigger news? In a national newspaper?
    I was wondering why the stores always seem so desolate and empty over the past year or so. I’ve walked out mid-shop a few times now and probably won’t ever be going back.

    • Because it’s less than 10% of people and is meaningless. The actual change is completely minimal and in line with how any other large business does it. Storm in a tea cup driven by pathetic union plebs who have to be seen to be doing something to justify their ridiculous fees. The fact that over 95% of the site aren’t a member of a union tells you everything you need to know about this story.

      • you clearly know nothing about Waltham Point or the people striking. The changes are not minimal and are not in line with other businesses, thats just management bulls***

  2. I’m also a Sainsbury’s warehouse picker
    And we are having same problem here in Sainsbury’s Basingstoke warehouse
    Because Sainsbury warehouse wants to cut down budget they made it very difficult to work.
    They replaced electric truck to pump truck which is a serious physical health problem to us picker as we lift very heavy objects
    They increased how quickly we should work and most workers have refused to work which made it difficult to reach our required picking gold meaning we will get paid less
    I’m having problems with my shoulder now as it very difficult to pull the pump trucks, now they want us to work faster. But then they advertise to pick safely

  3. The company is being run by people with questionable characters. They don’t care about junior staff most especially in the warehouse that I work (rye house ). The managers are horrible and mean. They don’t respect no one. All what they care about is to meet the target. It’s terrible experience.

  4. Sainsbury’s is not the posh place it was in the 1990’s and is fast becoming a run of the mill supermarket. With the Sainsbury’s Local stores varying from grubby down beat to just… OK it has tarnished the name and brand. Also stores it has taken over from mergers in the past (stores it got from Safeway and other forced sell off stores) were converted to Sainsbury’s very cheaply and many stores now look awful. The Hammersmith store looks as if Sainsbury’s is a failing company… i fact it is a FALLEN company. Instead of competing with Waitrose, Ocardo and (I mean this very weakly) M&S, Saisbury’s has decided it’s main area is to battle Aldi and Lidl and regain the defected shoppers from there, and ASDA.

    The brand of Sainsbury’s has become so disjointed that everyone will have a very different opinion of it. Buying Argos was mainly for its distribution and well established delivery business… ASDA has been after it for DECADES (I have worked for both Argos and Sainsbury’s) but with Walmart in the US cooling interest with it’s ASDA division (even binning it off into a sub ten years ago) appears to have given up so Sainsbury’s got Argos instead.

  5. Wolverhampton store is a particularly nasty store to work on nightshifts, managers treat staff like dirt and get away with it because we have no HR and any complaints don’t get dealt with as all the managers cover there own backs. Have had about 20 colleagues leave over the past 4 months. I hate it there.

  6. just got back from sainsburys magpie crescent-
    Stevenage majority of the shelves empty? not restocked? keep restocked! keep customers happy, increase sales, keep customers. from now on i`ll be shopping at Lidl!

  7. Waltham Point is striking because the company have taken so much away from us and they intend to take a lot more yet. This company used to make a profit, back in the days when colleagues were treated with respect, sadly the bean counters have taken over and common sense and fair play has gone. All JS depots should now be working as trained, the company cannot complain, and they will see that its the man on the floor that is digging them out of the proverbial everyday, not their management style !


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