Strike at Matalan distribution centre is over as employees accept new pay deal

Weeks of strike action at a leading clothing retailer's distribution centre are over after employees accepted a new pay deal.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 3:21 pm
A strike at Matalan's Knowsley distribution centre is over

The agreement brought to an end a long-running dispute between staff at Matalan's Northern Distribution Centre in Knowsley and the high street company.

More than 500 workers have been involved in industrial action since August.

Some strikers even erected tents outside the warehouse.

Staff downed tools in disgust after a pay offer from management which the GMB union said would have amounted to a real-terms pay cut.

However, the strikes were suspended on Friday after a new offer was made.

This was then accepted by 87 per cent of union members.

The final deal is complex and differs across the shifts but the vast majority of GMB members received a 1.7 per cent mandatory minimum wage uplift with an additional negotiated 2.9 per cent increase added on top.

The deal included an assurance that this future pay deals will always be backdated to the pay anniversary date, which was one of the fundamental issues of the industrial action.

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."

A spokesperson for Matalan said: “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.”