Proposed strike action at three South Yorkshire factories called off after union accepts pay offer

The DHL site in Harworth. Picture: Google
The DHL site in Harworth. Picture: Google
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Proposed strike action at three South Yorkshire factories has been cancelled after workers accepted an improved pay offer.

Around 120 members of staff at three DHL Supply Chain sites in Harworth and Tickhill in Doncaster had planned to stage a rolling programme of 15 days' strike action in May and June.

The dispute was over plans to close the Harworth site and the Unite union initially warned 150 staff faced potential redundancy. Union members also took issue with a pay offer of 1.25 per cent for the year starting June 2016.

But it has now been revealed staff from Harworth will transfer to another site at Markham Vale, near Chesterfield, which will be operated by a firm called Great Bear.

Bosses at DHL also improved their pay offer to 2.6 per cent for the year starting June 2016, which was overwhelmingly accepted by the union who then called off the strike action.

Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner said: “The DHL management made an improved offer of 2.6 per cent, up from 1.25 per cent, which was overwhelmingly accepted by our members. As a result, the planned industrial strikes won’t now proceed.

“There have been assurances from DHL about the TUPE - Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations - move to Great Bear."

However, Unite has warned Great Bear management not to erode the pay, terms and conditions of the 150 workers from Harworth, otherwise industrial action could be on the cards.

Harriet added: "We still have concerns about the new employer, Great Bear, and the risk that it may be ‘picking and choosing’ who it wishes to make redundant from those transferring.

“Unite is arguing that all those who are ready and willing to relocate to Great Bear at Markham Vale do so on their current terms and conditions. For all those for whom it is too difficult to travel to the new site, they will need to be paid their contractual redundancy by Great Bear."

A spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain has previously said the closure of the Harworth site follows "the customer’s decision to transfer the operation to a new provider."

A spokesperson for Great Bear said the firm is "in extensive and on-going discussions with DHL and Unite union in relation to the potential transfer of DHL employees to the Great Bear business.

"Great Bear is working hard to secure as many successful employment transfers as possible from the DHL facility in Harworth and considers that on-going discussions in this regard remain constructive and positive.

"The union and employees continue to be engaged in meaningful consultation with Great Bear representatives."