Wilko staff in Worksop set to vote on strike action over weekend working

Wilko Distribution Centre
Wilko Distribution Centre

A major strike is looming at Wilko over the company’s decision to force staff to work weekends.

More than 90 per cent of GMB members at two Wilko distribution centres, including Worksop, said they would take industrial action over the rota changes during a consultative ballot.

More than 2,000 people work across the two sites which supply Wilko stores across the UK.

Talks were held after Easter to avert the dispute, but these have broken down after management failed to compromise.

A Wilko employee who wished to remain anonymous said: "The home of family values is making the staff who have a five over six contract to work every Saturday and not caring at all about people's family or home lives.

"They say they can't afford to let us have a rota having Saturday's off because of picking the work, but they can afford to force people to come in on a late shift on Saturday's until 8pm at night, not picking any stock just cleaning no care at all for employees or their families.

"We are doing votes to go on strike with the union, the morale is so low at the moment and people are fed up, stressed and feel like they are being forced out of their jobs, this is not a company that cares about family values anymore.

"I can't believe how hardworking loyal team members are now being treated."

The strength of feeling among the workforce is so strong, GMB will be conducting a full strike action ballot.

Gary Carter, GMB National Officer, said: “More than 90 per cent of our members are so angry they are willing to walk out – that shows the strength of feeling amongst staff.

“The new rota’s are brutal. Wilko bosses have given no consideration to work/life balance – many people need consecutive rest days and time with their families.

“To cut this off will have implications for their health and wellbeing, their safety and their family lives.

"People feel they’re being forced out of the job after many years of loyal service.

“We’ve offered several alternatives to these enforced rota changes – but management don’t seem to be listening.

“Members now feel they have no option but to take part in a strike ballot.”

A Wilko spokesman said: “Our customers are hard-working families that shop seven days a week.

"For several years now, team members in our distribution centres have worked weekends in response to customer need.

"This is already part of their existing contract of employment and our current discussions are about making this a more regular working pattern.

“We are incredibly disappointed to hear the GMB talk about taking a more disruptive course of action.

"We understand this topic is as important to our team members as it is to our customers.

"We are continuing to talk to our team members and their representatives about creating rotas which meet the needs of our customers while enabling a work/life balance.”