Matalan warehouse workers back on the job as strike ends
today Oct 23, 2019
Matalan and GMB, a trade union, have reached an agreement to end a long-running strike at the retailer’s Northern distribution centre in Knowsley, Merseyside.
More than 500 workers had been on strike since August to protest against a pay offer which they claimed amounted to a real terms pay cut.
The facility serves Matalan’s e-commerce business and provides store supplies for the company across the north of England and Scotland.
Staff held a vote on the new pay deal over the weekend, with 87% accepting the new terms. GMB said the vast majority of workers will receive a 1.7% mandatory minimum wage uplift with an additional negotiated 2.9% increase added on top.
Neil Holden, GMB senior organiser, said: “This has been an incredibly stressful time for our members. They’ve been on strike for weeks, worrying about how they will feed their families and pay their rent.
“They sacrificed their wages - which were only just above the minimum wage - to do what’s right for them and their colleagues.
“But because they’ve stuck together, and shown solidarity, they can rightly hold their heads high today.
“Now they can get back to work and, along with Matalan, put this behind them.”
The agreement ends months of disruption at the value fashion retailer ahead of the crucial festive period. In the second quarter of the year ended 31 August, the company reported revenues of £292m, up 11% year-on-year, and Ebitda profits of £16.3m, down from £22.8m a year earlier.
A spokesperson for Matalan commented: “We are delighted that our employees in our Knowsley distribution centre have voted conclusively to accept the largest core pay offer our company has ever offered, and which is amongst the highest in the sector; we are proud to be a major employer in the North West and always look to ensure Matalan is a great place to work.”
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