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Trade drinks supplies could be hit by strike action

Trade drinks supplies could be hit by strike action

Proposed strikes at Kuehne + Nagel Drinks Logistics (KNDL) could cause serious disruption to the supplies of drinks to pubs and hotels.

Nearly 1,000 employees at the the firm are being balloted this week on whether they will take industrial action in response to what they claim are continual breaches in the National Ways Agreement, which governs the terms and conditions of the workforce.

In total, 970 drivers, draymen, and warehouse members across 27 different sites across England are due to vote on the proposals, which are being put forward by the union Unite.

The organisation claims the distribution of soft drinks and alcohol brands such as Heineken, Britvic, John Smith's and Kronenberg would be severely disrupted if the proposals were approved.

It had also claimed that the deliveries of Shepherd Neame products could also be disrupted by the strike, although the brewer has since stressed that a recent supply contract with KNDL was not due to take effect until later in the year, leaving it potentially unaffected by any strike action.

Unite national officer for the food and drinks sector Rhys McCarthy said: "In recent months the management at KNDL has rode roughshod over the national agreement and has unilaterally started imposing changes to working conditions for our members without meaningful consultation.

"Unite’s repeated attempts to rectify these breaches have been met with intransigence by the management and, as a last resort, our members are being balloted for industrial action."

He added that the union called on the KDNL management to have constructive talks with them as soon as possible in order to restore what it regarded as a potentially solid industrial relationship.

KNDL responded in a statement claiming that it had received confirmation of the plans by Unite.

It added: "The company is fully committed to ongoing dialogue with Unite and plans to meet with union representatives on August 29th to discuss the situation further."

 

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