3,000 packaging workers set to take industrial action over this weekend
Waiting: Deliveries may be delayed due to the lack of packaging. Image by Frankie’s (via Shutterstock).
This weekend will be the busiest time of the year for internet shopping. The period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday sees the likes of Amazon making a killing. Unsurprisingly, it is also the busiest time of the year for cyber criminals. Neither Black Friday or Cyber Monday can be made possible without cardboard packaging. (We at Romiley Board Mill know this too well).
From Saturday, 26 November, 3,000 workers at 40 factories will be taking industrial action. Employees at DS Smith, Smurfit Kappa, and Saica Pack have voted in favour of an overtime ban and a one-day strike. Saturday will see the start of the overtime ban with the one-day strike taking place on the 28 November (Cyber Monday).
The 3,000 employees, members of the GMB and Unite trade unions, have hit out at the derisory nature of their rewards, compared with each company’s profits. A 2% pay rise had been rejected. From the GMB website, its National Officer Stuart Fegan said:
“Our members are clearly fed up of seeing their employers make increasing profits in this sector whilst their wages fall behind in real terms.
“We urge the employers to get back around the negotiating table and make an offer to our members in respect of their pay claim which recognise the profits these companies are making and the contribution of our members towards those profits.
“We don’t want to cause problems for peoples’ Christmas shopping – but if we have to, we will.”
His fellow at Unite, Ian Tonks said:
“At no time during our meetings with the companies did they raise the affordability, clearly these are profitable companies and our members recognise their contribution towards that profitability and their efforts need rewarding.”
All three companies work with Amazon, who are among the greatest users of cardboard packaging. Also affected is Domino’s Pizza, another major client, and a heavy user of cardboard packaging.
DS Smith: Devizes, Wiltshire; Clay Cross, Derbyshire; Livingston, West Lothian;
Saica Pack: Newport, Gwent; Peterlee, County Durham;