Delivery drivers and brewery workers to strike in run up to Christmas

18 October 2022 by
Delivery drivers and brewery workers to strike in run up to Christmas

Restaurants and pubs across Britain could face disruption to their food and beer deliveries in the run up to Christmas following several rounds of strike action.

Delivery drivers and brewery workers at three separate firms are to launch industrial action in disputes around pay and benefits.

Almost 600 GMB union members working for Best Food Logistics are to take part in a strike ballot after they rejected the company's latest pay offer.

The workers, who deliver fresh food to the likes of Pizza Express, KFC, Zizzi, Burger King, Wagamama and Pizza Hut, rejected a 6% pay offer, which GMB said would "amount to a real terms pay cut this year and into next".

Dates for the strike ballot will be announced in the coming days.

Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said: "Best Food's parent companies Booker and Tesco are making incredibly healthy profits and paying large dividends, while leaving these workers crushed by cost of living.

"Now some of their biggest clients may well be left short this Christmas because they won't meet GMB's reasonable request for a pay deal that protects our members through this year and into next with a genuine cost of living increase."

A spokesperson for Best Food Logistics said it offered a "competitive" reward package and would work to ensure customers could still get the products they need.

Meanwhile, hundreds of staff at Budweiser Brewing Group's (BBG) Salmesbury plant are on strike until 7am on 22 October.

The plant brews Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons and Export Pale Ale and the GMB Union said the action risked a "Christmas beer drought".

A spokesperson for BBG said it offered a "competitive" pay and benefits package and was disappointed an agreement could not be reached. They added that the company had a plan in place to minimise the impact of strike action on customers.

It was also announced that 1,000 delivery drivers at GXO, which works with pubs and venues supplied by major breweries, including Heineken, Stonegate, Admiral Taverns and Shepherd Neame, are to strike between 31 October and 4 November.

GXO makes around 40 per cent of UK beer deliveries and the union Unite said the move would impact pubs looking to fill their cellars ahead of the start of the FIFA World Cup on 20 November.

A GXO spokesperson said it was offering an average 9.2% pay increase and had plans in place to minimise the impact on customers if a strike went ahead.

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