Potential strike by Matalan warehouse workers could affect Carlisle store

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Matalan, James Street, Carlisle.
Matalan, James Street, Carlisle.
Friday, July 14, 2017 at 1:17PM

A looming GMB strike by Matalan warehouse workers could disrupt retail outlets including the chain's Carlisle and Workington stores.

The union says potential strike action by staff at the company's Knowsley warehouse, in Merseyside - one of only two UK depots - could have a knock-on effect to both retail and online sales.

The threat follows a pay dispute between management and warehouse workers.

GMB members have been balloted and the result is expected on Monday.

The dispute erupted after warehouse staff found out supervisors had been given a £1,500 pay rise – with a two per cent increase on top of that.

After pay talks broke down, ACAS were brought into try and settle the dispute.

Now staff will vote on Matalan’s final offer.

Eddie Gaudie, GMB organiser, said: “It really sticks in our members’ throats when they’re struggling to manage on their pay packets, only to see supervisors pick up a bonus and a pay rise.

“Warehouse staff work just as hard as supervisors – and should receive comparable rewards.

“It’s up to our members now as to whether they will accept Matalan’s latest offering.

“If not, strike action could be on the cards.”

A spokesperson for Matalan said: "Matalan engages in pay discussions with its workers as a matter of routine every year. This year, we have offered workers in our Knowsley distribution centre pay increases which are above standard cost of living increases for the region and are also above rates of inflation. If accepted they will amount to an annualised pay increase of 3.17 per cent.

“We are surprised and disappointed by the GMB’s decision to criticise this pay offer to staff, as it has been fully agreed and fully endorsed by the union following constructive negotiations with them, and recommended to members.

“We greatly value all our staff and have worked very hard to make an offer that is fair and appealing in relation to other comparable businesses in the region. We therefore sincerely hope that the minority of our workforce in Knowsley who are members of the union will approve it."

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