Threat to Westcountry beer supplies as drivers strike
Workers who deliver beer and other drinks to pubs and thousands of other sites including clubs and theatres are to stage a 24-hour strike in a row over jobs and conditions.
Members of the Unite union at KNDL (Kuehne + Nagel Drinks Logistics) will walk out from 10am next Wednesday, followed by a continuous ban on overtime.
The union warned of “significant disruption” to almost 30,000 drinking establishments across the UK.
Deliveries of lager, beer and soft drinks will be hit by the action, said Unite.
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Pubs and premises run by Enterprise Inns, Trust Inns, Wetherspoons, and Wells and Young’s will be affected, as well as supplies to airports, courts, sports clubs, including Premiership football clubs, recreational centres, theatres and cinemas, health clubs, military camps, working men’s clubs and the hospitality industry, the union warned.
The union claims a national agreement on terms and conditions is being breached, which would lead to “significant” job losses.
The union balloted 970 drivers, draymen and warehouse members, with 85% voting in favour of strikes on a turnout of 64%.
Unite national officer, Rhys McCarthy, said: “KNDL’s refusal to take our concerns seriously mean there will be significant disruption to the supply of beer right across the country. Whether it’s the Houses of Parliament, Manchester City football club or your local Wetherspoons pub there will be serious consequences.
“We have tried to negotiate with the company but it has stubbornly refused to solve this dispute.
“Our members are proud of their jobs and they know that the present system for delivering beer works and customers are happy.
“The changes being pushed through will not work. They will eventually lead to job losses and will cause enormous problems with deliveries to customers. For drinkers up and down the country, it could even affect the quality of cask conditioned beer. We urge KNDL management to return to the negotiating table.”
The depots affected include Aberdeen; Bathgate (West Lothian); Birmingham; Bristol; Chandlers Ford (Hampshire); Carlisle; Croydon; Dagenham; Devizes (Wiltshire); Dundee; Faversham (Kent); Greenford (Middlesex); Inverness; Liverpool; Manchester; Newark (Nottinghamshire); Northampton; Norwich; Plymouth; Preston; Reading; Stockton-on-Tees (Cleveland); Swansea; Wakefield; Warrington; Washington (Tyne and Wear); and Welwyn Garden City.