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Strike threat could see delivery disruption for Sainsbury’s

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Logistics restructuring by supermarket Sainsbury’s has angered lorry drivers at its Birmingham and Essex sites, which could see 500 walk out in industrial action.

As part of a new supply chain partnership, Sainsbury’s plans to transfer transport services for most of its operations, including Argos, to Wincanton by the end of April.

Workers who are currently directly employed by Sainsbury’s, and members of the Unite union, are being balloted for strike action today [Monday 26 February].

The union stressed that the transfer would result in the workers no longer being eligible for benefits they receive as Sainsbury’s employees. These include a 15% Sainsbury’s discount card worth up to £1,600 a year in savings, as well as share save and incentive schemes.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Sainsbury’s is attempting to outsource its staff on the cheap. Meanwhile, its profits continue to grow. This is corporate greed pure and simple. Sainsbury’s lorry drivers have their union’s total support.”

The ballot closes on 11 March. Industrial action could cause severe disruption to deliveries from the distribution centres in Coleshill, Birmingham and Waltham Abbey, Essex to Sainsbury’s stores.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We are committed to further talks. In the meantime we can reassure our customers we have contingency plans in place to minimise any disruption, should the action go ahead.”

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