Drinks supplies at risk as delivery workers plan strike

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Public house

The firm supplies airports, courts, sports clubs and recreational centres, as well as the hospitality industry
The firm supplies airports, courts, sports clubs and recreational centres, as well as the hospitality industry
Unite Union members at Kuehne & Nagel Drinks Logistics (KNDL) are planning to strike for 24 hours next week over jobs and working conditions, leaving drinks supplies to some of the UK’s largest pub companies at risk.

Eighty-five per cent of KNDL’s employees voted in favour of the strike, which is due to begin at 10am on 11 September. Unite claims that the firm is ignoring the terms and conditions of the workforce, bringing the prospect of job losses.

"KNDL's refusal to take our concerns seriously means there will be significant disruption to the supply of beer right across the country,” said Unite’s national officer Rhys McCarthy.

"Whether it's the Houses of Parliament, Manchester City football club or your local Wetherspoons' pub there will be serious consequences. We have tried to engage with the company but it has repeatedly refused to resolve this dispute.”

Disappointed  

KNDL has defended its stance towards its workers, with a statement company today reading: "Kuehne & Nagel continually reviews its warehousing and transport networks in order to ensure that the company provides the most efficient service to its customers.

"KN Drinks Logistics has been consulting with its employees for a number of years regarding the need to adapt its business model and enhance its service offering to meet the challenges of the declining on-trade drinks market.

"We are therefore extremely disappointed that the notice of industrial action has been issued prior to further discussions taking place.”

It is estimated that around 30,000 establishments will face disruption, including pubs linked to Enterprise Inns, Trust Inns, Wetherspoons and Wells and Young's. It will hit deliveries of Foster's, Heineken and Kronenbourg lagers, John Smith's bitter, Strongbow cider and Britvic soft drinks.

National disgrace

As reported by our sister title the Publican’s Morning Advertiser earlier today, community pubs minister Brandon Lewis has slammed Unite for its proposed actions.

“This is a national disgrace,” he said. “Labour's biggest union paymaster is hitting at the right of hardworking people to have a pint after a day's work.

"In contrast, Conservatives have knocked a penny off a pint. We have also scrapped Labour’s beer duty escalator, which was bankrupting community pubs.

"Ed Miliband must condemn this strike; if he’s too weak to stand up to his union bosses, he’s too weak to stand up for hardworking people.”

Workers are set to strike for 24 hours from 10am on Wednesday 11 September.

Related topics: Business, Legislation, Pubs & Bars

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1 comment

Pubs won't run dry!

Posted by Susan,

So what about the rights of the hardworking people at KN Drinks? Thought about them and the impact on theirs and their families lives this will have if they are made redundant? Oh no, of course not. I'm married to one of those affected and he doesn't want to go on strike and, in fact, voted against it. But you have to put yourself in his shoes, the proposed changes have been rumoured for over 2 years now and KN are reluctant to give any firm information or details on what the likely outcome is. Oh and KN are not the only drinks distributor in the country so I doubt very much that pubs are going to run dry.

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