Fire-and-rehire strike at Clarks’ Somerset site ends after deal is reached

Clarks has reached an agreement with about 100 workers to end a two-month strike at its distribution centre in Somerset.
Changes were made after Clarks was taken over by private equity firm, LionRock Capital.
// Clarks and Community union reach a deal following mediation
// Warehouse staff first began industrial action on October 4 in dispute over ‘fire and rehire’ plan

Clarks has reached an agreement with about 100 workers to end a two-month strike at its distribution centre in Somerset.

The deal with the Community union, which follows mediation with Acas, is understood to protect hourly pay for established workers and increase pay for new staff at the site.

Staff at the warehouse have been on strike since October 4, arguing the shoe retailer had been seeking to cut their wages by almost 15 per cent to £9.50 an hour by using controversial fire and rehire tactics.


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“Community and Clarks announce that following a process of mediation with Acas, an agreement has been reached in respect of the industrial dispute at the Clarks Westway Distribution Centre,” said Clarks and Community in a joint statement.

“We are pleased that a resolution has been reached that works in everybody’s interests, protects Community members’ livelihoods, and recognises their loyalty to Clarks.

“Following an indicative ballot of Community members it is confirmed that normal working has now resumed.

“Community and Clarks express their thanks to Acas for its support and look forward to close co-operation as we move on from the dispute and commit to positive industrial relations in the future.”

The changes were implemented after Clarks was acquired by a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, LionRock Capital, and the billionaire former Chinese Olympian Li Ning in March.

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