Voice of the Employee

Argos’s delivery drivers at its key distribution centre have voted to strike for three days from 20 December. Unite union members voted by 83% to strike over what they say is a failure to pay holiday back pay for two years, amounting to an average of £700.

Unite said it would cause “havoc and chaos” for the retailer. A spokesperson for Argos said it had “contingency plans” and that “we’re working hard to ensure this will not impact our deliveries.”

He added: “We would encourage both sides to keep talking with the aim of coming to a swift resolution.”

Unite said the strikes were a “last resort” and its door was open for talks “24/7”.

The drivers work for Wincanton, based at Argos’s flagship national distribution centre near Burton-on-Trent, in Staffordshire.

That site supplies Argos’s other seven distribution centres and they, in turn, deliver to the Argos shops.

Unite said the dispute with Wincanton centred on how holiday pay was calculated. Unite says legal cases have established that overtime and extra shift payments should be taken into account when assessing holiday pay.

Unite regional officer Rick Coyle said: “The drivers have patiently tried to resolve this matter for over two years. Now they would like the money they are owed in time for Christmas, which is not unreasonable.

“It is very difficult to understand why Wincanton has allowed this saga to get out of hand.” Argos was taken over by Sainsbury’s earlier this year.

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