Sainsbury’s Scottish stores to 'face shortages' as DHL workers strike

More than 300 DHL staff in East Kilbride will take industrial action from 6am on Saturday, August 13.

Sainsbury’s Scottish stores to ‘face shortages’ as DHL distribution workers set to strike iStock

All of Scotland’s Sainsbury’s supermarkets are set to be hit by supply issues as distribution workers go on a week-long strike over a pay dispute.

DHL staff in East Kilbride will take industrial action from 6am on Saturday, August 13, through until August 20.

Unite the union represents more than 300 DHL warehouse workers who are based at the distribution centre in Langlands Park. It supplies Sainsbury’s stores throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The union said DHL is offering lower wages to workers based in Scotland when compared to other parts of the UK.

Sainbury's depot in East Kilbride.Google Maps

Unite said 96% of staff, on a 68% turnout, voted to take strike action following the rejection of their employer’s final offer which it said represents a real terms pay cut as inflation soaring to hit a forty-year high.

Sainsbury’s has said plans are in place to minimise any disruption the strike may cause.

DHL’s German-owned parent company – Deutsche Post DHL Group – announced in May 2022 that its operating profit rose to £1.84bn in what it described as an “excellent opening quarter”.

“Unite will challenge DHL and its mega-wealthy owners,” said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.

“Our DHL Sainsbury’s members deserve a fair pay rise and to be treated equally with their fellow workers based throughout the UK.”

We don’t do our members being treated as ‘second class’. They have their union’s full support in this fight for better jobs, pay and conditions at DHL Sainsbury’s.”

Negotiations have taken place but Unite has served notice of the strike action following “the failure of DHL to make an improved offer in the talks”.

Unite regional officer Willie Thomson said: “The cost of living crisis is impacting every DHL Sainsbury’s worker equally but this billion pound company continues to value their workers at East Kilbride less than others based throughout the UK.

“We will not tolerate this second class treatment of our members. Strike action is always a last resort but our members have no option but to take a stand.

“The company will soon know the value of its workforce when there will be empty shelves in Sainsbury’s stores throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland. All our members are asking for is the same wage rise.”

A spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain said: “We are disappointed that Unite and its
members have voted in favour of industrial action at our Langlands Park depot.

“We look forward to further talks to reach a satisfactory outcome for both parties but
contingency plans are now in place and every effort will be made to minimise disruption
to services should the action go ahead.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We have contingencies in place to minimise any disruption this may cause and continue to encourage both sides to keep talking.”