GMB London call on Co-op to extend £150 bonus for Covid-19 surge to outsourced logistics staff
GMB CALL ON THE CO-OP STORES TO PAY £150 BONUS TO RETAIL STAFF TO COPE WITH THE COVID 19 SURGE TO THE OUTSOURCED CAMBRIDGESHIRE LOGISTICS STAFF VITAL TO MAKING IT POSSIBLE
Without these workers the shelves in the Co-op stores around the East of England would have been empty for the local communities that rely on them and there could not have been the surge in sales resulting in the bumper profit says GMB
GMB London and East of England, the union for logistics staff, is calling on the Co-op to extend to its outsourced logistics staff the cash bonus of £150 awarded to all its staff for coping with the massive surge in sales at the beginning of the public health emergency that led to bumper profits for the Co-op.
GMB members employed by Wincanton at a Co-op distribution depot near Huntingdon provided the logistics support to keep the shelves stocked and provide an essential service to local communities served by the Co-op stores across the East of England.
Wincanton operate a distribution depot at Godmanchester. This employs approximately 180 staff in the warehouse and as drivers. There are some agency workers but most are employed by Wincanton.
When the surge had passed and the empty shelves were restocked, the Co-op, like the other supermarkets in recognition of the bumper profits they made, awarded a bonus of £100 in their May pay packets and £50 in member benefits to all staff directly employed by Co-op staff to give them a share of profits.
GMB members in the Co-op logistics chain asked via Wincanton if the Co-op was prepared to pay the bonus via Wincanton to these staff. They were told that the Co-op was refusing to recognise financially that without them they would not have been able to keep the shelves stocked. GMB members are shocked by this decision.
Steve Garelick, GMB Regional Organiser, said
“GMB members at the Co-op distribution depot in Godmanchester, Huntingdon are asking for the Co-op to reconsider their decision not to pay the bonus awarded to the direct retail staff to the very logistics staff vital to cope with the surge in demand at the start of the public health emergency.
Without these workers putting their lives on hold in the emergency the shelves in the Co-op stores around the East of England would have been empty for the local communities that rely on these stores. Without them there could not have been the surge in sales resulting in the bumper profit.
Not to pay the well-deserved bonus to the retail staff to the logistics staff vital to it happening is the wrong decision by the Co-op.
The Co-op should immediately recognise these workers and their part in the teamwork that the Co-op movement can be proud of as it celebrated its 175th anniversary. It’s simply a matter of fairness.
The Co-op should pay the bonus to its logistics staff via Wincanton who are in no position to pay it. Wincanton has a huge number of staff currently on furlough during the emergency while these logistics staff are at work serving the nation.”
Jan Wallace, GMB regional representative, said
“When the corona virus started to make a big impact on the business, we (all Wincanton staff) all rose to the challenge and did whatever was required.
We were all apprehensive about what to expect whilst carrying out our duties, but our professionalism shone through with long days worked, second runs and voluntary days worked.
No questions asked, we just got on with it, we did what was necessary.
Our client and their customers relied upon us, like many others, to keep the shelves stocked and provide an essential service to local communities.
So, we were all very disappointed to learn about the Co-op's and Wincanton’s position regarding the benefits. In a world that we all believe should be fairer, this is further from the truth.
One of many examples, in the past, when the going was really tough, we, the GMB members, Wincanton employees and our client, (Co-op) worked very hard to help out other depots when demand was high. In doing so, we fell behind as well. But, with our combined efforts we made the recovery. What we are try to say is, we want our client to know that we will always be ready for the challenge and we will never let them down.
We all work together as a team at the depot and our working relationship with our client is exceptional. Not only do we work well together, we have become very good friends. We share coffee breaks and meal times together in the staff canteen.
Look at it from an outsiders point of view, we all have a lovely meal together after a hard day's work. Then we have pudding for afters. Then, a second helping of pudding is served. But, only to the Co-op staff.
All we ask is, to be treated the same as our friends.”
Contact: Steve Garelick, London Region Organiser 079 6776 3980
GMB London Press Office 079 7001 9643