// Sainsbury’s could face pre-Christmas shortages if DHL lorry drivers proceed with strike action
// Over 140 lorry drivers employed by DHL are responsible for its deliveries across the south west
// Strike action could lead to shortages in the lead-up to the festive season
Sainsbury’s is at risk of facing pre-Christmas shortages if DHL lorry drivers go ahead with strike action over a pay dispute.
Over 140 lorry drivers employed by DHL are responsible for the deliveries across the south west on an outsourced contract with Sainsbury’s.
The union Unite has now warned that strike action could lead to shortages for Sainsbury’s in the lead-up to the festive season.
The drivers are set to vote on strike action after DHL offered them a three per cent pay increase over an 18-month period, which fell bellow workers’ expectations.
The ballot is set to open on November 11 and close on November 25.
Unite said that if the drivers vote for strike action, these could begin as early as the second week of December – causing “considerable disruption” to Christmas supplies.
“Lorry drivers are key workers who are vital to our economy, they will not accept poverty pay or real terms pay cuts any longer,” Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said.
“In recent months Unite has won a large number of significant pay increases for lorry driver members as a result of the union’s renewed focus on defending the jobs, pay and conditions of our members.
“The union will be providing its full support to our members in this dispute for a fair day’s pay.”
Sainsbury’s said it will continue to encourage both sides to keep talking.
This follows a similar dispute at DHL for Sainsbury’s lorry drivers in Dartford, who managed to secure a pay increase.
Unite regional officer Shevaun Hunt said: “Our members are balloting for strike action as, despite protracted negotiations, DHL has failed to make a reasonable pay offer.
“Even at this late stage, DHL can still avoid strike action by returning to the negotiating table and making an offer which meets workers’ expectations.”