Rochdale Asda distribution drivers employed by Wincanton strike for pay parity

Date published: 08 December 2023

Scores of HGV drivers employed by Wincanton on the Asda contract in Rochdale will strike over the Christmas period in a pay dispute.

Drivers at the Kingsway chilled products distribution site, which supplies Asda stores in the north, will strike on 13, 15, 17, 20, 26, 28 and 30 December and 2 January.

They are angry at being paid £1.24 an hour less than their counterparts doing the exact same role for Asda at the Lutterworth distribution centre in Leicestershire.

The Rochdale drivers’ overtime, night, weekend and bank holiday rates are also less than those paid at Lutterworth.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members are sick of being treated as second class workers and are demanding pay parity with their colleagues who are doing the same job. Both Asda and Wincanton are wealthy companies that can more than afford to right this wrong.

“Unite always defends our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and these drivers have the full support of their union behind them.”

Wincanton confirmed on Friday (8 December) that a “competitive offer” had been made and is currently “under consideration by Unite and its drivers.”

A Wincanton spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we are currently in constructive talks with Unite and Asda to find a solution which is satisfactory for all parties based at our site in Rochdale.

“We have made a competitive offer which we hope is accepted, and which is currently under consideration by Unite and its members."

Both sets of drivers used to be employed by EV Cargo before transferring under TUPE regulations to new employers in 2021. The Lutterworth drivers are now employed directly by Asda, and the Rochdale drivers directly by Wincanton.   

Wincanton’s underlying pre-tax profits increased by 6.9% to a record £62.1 million in the 12 months to March 2023, while Asda brought in revenues of £24.5 billion in 2022.

An Asda spokesperson said: “These negotiations are between Wincanton and Unite and we would encourage them to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.

“We employ a large number of Asda delivery-driver colleagues who deliver to our stores every day and we are confident that customers will be able to get everything they need in store to enjoy a wonderful Christmas.” 

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