UK: Heineken, Britvic deliveries under threat from strike action - Unite

By | 5 September 2013

UK deliveries of Heineken and Britvic brands could be affected by a 24-hour strike by workers at logistics firm Kuehne + Nagel, according to trade union Unite.

The union said earlier today (5 September) that it has given notice of planned action to the company for a strike starting next Wednesday (11 September). A continuous ban on overtime and a work-to-rule will also be put in place.

The dispute centres around K&N's proposed changes to its UK distribution network, which Unite says could lead to “significant job losses” across the company's 29 UK depots. 

Brands potentially affected by the strike are Foster's, Heineken, Kronenbourg, John's Smith's, Strongbrow and Britvic's soft drinks brands, Unite said. Around 30,000 UK on-trade venues could be affected by the strike, the union claims. 

Rhys McCarthy, Unite's national officer said: "We have tried to negotiate with the company but it has stubbornly refused to solve this dispute.”

In a statement to just-drinks today, K&N said it has “engaged in lengthy consultation with Unite regarding the proposed changes”. It added: “We are ... extremely disappointed that the notice of industrial action has been issued prior to further discussions taking place.”

The company said it has contingency plans in place to “minimise disruption” if the strike goes ahead. 

But, the statement added: “We remain committed to resolving this dispute prior to any action being taken and will be seeking to meet again with Unite in an effort to achieve this.”

Sectors: Beer & cider, Soft drinks, The on-trade

Companies: Heineken, Foster’s, Britvic

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