Workers at Stoke Wincanton site say YES to CWU

Union Matters

Hundreds of warehouse staff return 97% majority for union recognition after three-month campaign by activists…

Nearly 800 employees at one of the largest UK distribution centres serving trade tool retail giant Screwfix will have the CWU behind them after they voted overwhelmingly in favour of trade union representation in the on-site ballot held under the supervision of arbitration service ACAS.

CWU head of recruitment & organising Ray Ellis told CWU News: “It’s great news for the CWU and most importantly for the workforce at this site, which is located in Trentham, Stoke. We want to say how pleased we are at the result, express our thanks to the workforce for the very strong vote they’ve cast for the CWU and also, of course, our thanks and appreciation to ACAS for the help and support they’ve given to us during this whole period.

“It’s remarkable that this campaign was only launched back in March – and recognition has been achieved in mid-June.”

The recognition deal covers all workers at the site on the W1, W2, AT2 and AT3 grades which, in total, numbers 766 employees. On a 71 per cent turnout, 97 per cent of those voting voted YES to the question:

Do you wish the Trade Union, CWU, to be recognised for collective bargaining purposes within Wincanton Screwfix, Stoke.

Although this is a site which serves Screwfix, the workers are employed by service provider Wincanton and it will be with the Wincanton management team that the union will now be sitting down with to work through the details of the collective bargaining agreement and associated processes.

Ray Ellis continued: “It’ll be good to develop a working relationship with a new employer and with goodwill on all sides, the future will be positive for our members, for the company and for the customers. Locally, CWU field organiser Neil Singh has done a superb job campaigning and winning support for the union and growing the membership and he will be the main point of contact going forward.”

Neil told CWU News that he was “absolutely delighted” with the poll and that he was “very much looking forward to taking things forward on behalf of our members. We’ve got several issues which we hope we’ll now be able to address jointly with the Wincanton management.

“Many thanks to the workers for the faith they’ve shown in this union and for our part, we promise we’ll do our very best to serve their best interests.”

Sean McGinley, (pictured above with Wincanton colleagues Michael Powell and Dan Biddulph) told us: “It’s great to see all the organising paying off and that 97 per cent YES vote shows we’re definitely moving in the right direction – and a big thank you for that. The union and the company will now agree the new bargaining arrangements and, following that, we’re hoping to start addressing the key issues here – the key one is of course pay, as well as other subjects as well.”