Supermarket warehouse staff call off further strikes after pay increase offer

Workers at a Morrisons warehouse in Yorkshire have called off future strike action after the supermarket conceded and agreed to pay increases and other benefits for staff.

Around 1,000 staff at warehouses in Wakefield and Northwich in Cheshire went on a six-day strike in May in a row over pensions, pay and working conditions. Members of trade union Unite had planned four-day strike from June 13 which was called off after received an improved offer from Morrisons. The union has now confirmed its members have agreed to that offer and called off any future action in the dispute.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "This is a great win for our members at Morrisons and shows the real power of a union in the workplace. I'm delighted they have achieved their goals and that the supermarket has seen sense and come up with an acceptable outcome.”

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Among the Bradford-based supermarket’s original plans were to decrease contributions they made to workers’ pension contributions while they reduced their own by the same amount, leaving many worse off. However, as a result of the strike action the supermarket has now agreed that workers can continue to contribute to their pensions at the same rate.

Factory operatives on strike outside Morrisons in Wakefield in May.Factory operatives on strike outside Morrisons in Wakefield in May.
Factory operatives on strike outside Morrisons in Wakefield in May.

A new “pick rate” was also set to be introduced, a new metric which monitored the proficiency of warehouse staff, however this will now be reviewed with full union involvement.

Unite says Morrisons has offered a nine per cent increase on all rates of pay, including overtime and the introduction of a new Service Award scheme which will pay up to £350 for long-service milestones.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post on the picket line last month, before the offer from Morrisons, staff member Joanna Pegg said “morale has never been lower.”

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On the new offer, Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: "Our members took to the picket line and were prepared to disrupt supplies to Morrisons’ stores to make their anger felt.

“Instead of being hundreds of pounds out of pocket they are thousands of pounds up. This is further evidence that if you want your employer to hear your voice loud and clear, join a union."

A spokesperson for Morrisons said: "We are pleased that through open communication with Unite we have together found a way forward."

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