// Clarks has reportedly appointed mediators to help resolve the strike at its Somerset warehouse
// Acas is said to be in touch with both sides involved in the Clarks dispute to work towards “having talks as soon as possible”
Clarks has agreed to allow mediators to help resolve the ongoing strike at its warehouse in Street, Somerset.
The BBC reported that the conciliation service Acas confirmed it is in contact with the footwear retailer and the Community union, which represents the strikes, about arranging talks.
The strike began on October 4, when over 100 workers walked out of the Westway warehouse used by Clarks.
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The Community union, says Clarks is using the controversial “fire and rehire” tactics, where a company dismisses workers and re-employs them on less favourable contracts.
The approach has been taken by a number of UK retailers in recent years — especially in the light of the pandemic and has attracted plenty of adverse publicity.
The UK government has said it disagrees with the approach but it hasn’t introduced any legislation to outlaw it.
Clarks wants the workers to accept new contracts, which would cut pay for a number of long-serving employees.
An Acas spokesperson told the BBC that Acas is in touch with both sides involved in the Clarks dispute to work towards “having talks as soon as possible.”
Clarks says that 69 per cent of warehouse workers have accepted the new contracts, up from 53 per cent last week, though some of those who have signed are still taking part in the strike.
Last week Clarks improved its proposal to all affected employees by 5.6 per cent to £10.03 per hour.
This would still represent a pay cut for long-standing workers, who say they stand to lose out by as much as 20 per cent.
Community says that between 120 to 230 workers are taking part in the strike, though Clarks says the true number is lower.