ARGOS Christmas deliveries are being threatened by a drivers’ strike.
UPS workers at the retailer’s distribution site in Barton, Staffs, voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking in a long-running pay dispute, the Unite union said.
Dozens of shunter and HGV drivers at the site have agreed to stage 16 days of strike action from December 16 after the union said a pay claim from March had been “continually disregarded”.
Argos said it will put contingency plans in place to minimise disruption and UPS is hopeful that an agreement can be reached with frustrated staff.
Unite’s Rick Coyle said: “Our members do not want to cause disruption, but they have been left with no choice but to strike. The treatment of these workers has been disgraceful.”
“It is now up to UPS to ensure this dispute does not extend right across the busiest time of the year for Argos by tabling a sensible offer that our members can actually vote on.”
But Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, warned that the strike action will cause “severe disruption” to Argos and “effectively grind work to a halt” at one of the busiest periods of the year for the retailer.
Barton is the main distribution site for electrical items from Argos including smartphones, laptops and televisions, before they are sent to the company’s regional warehouses.
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A UPS spokeswoman said: “We are aware that the Unite union intends to call industrial action for UPS staff servicing the Argos facility in Barton, Staffordshire.”
“Operational contingency plans will be put in place to minimise disruption for our customers should labour action go ahead.”
“Discussions with Unite are ongoing and we remain hopeful that a mutually satisfactory agreement can be reached. Please understand that these discussions are ongoing and we will not discuss any details in public.”