Argos workers strike in Bridgwater over pension row

Workers support picketers at Bridgwater’s Argos distribution centre over pension strike

Workers support picketers at Bridgwater’s Argos distribution centre over pension strike

First published in News Bridgwater Mercury: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by

CROWDS of workers at Bridgwater’s Argos distribution centre have gone on a four-day strike following a row over pensions.

Argos is closing its Group Final Salary Pension Scheme in favour of one linked to share prices and profits, which Unite workers fear would deprive them of thousands of pounds upon retirement.

The Mercury met with warehouse operatives and six official picketers at the centre yesterday, one of four depots involved in strike action. The picketers went on strike in the early hours of yesterday morning and will continue until 6am on Monday (September 24).

Dorothy Fogg, regional officer for Unite, told the Mercury: “Argos is giving different levels of pension benefit. The further up the management tree, the better the pension will be.

“Workers feel they are missing out quite a bit. Many work four days and have four days off. Those that were assigned to work at the time of the strike have sacrificed their pay in order to encourage their employer to rethink negotiations.

“We are very willing to talk it out, as you can never talk too much when people’s finances are at stake.”

An argos operative who did not wish to be named said talks about the pension scheme broke down on Tuesday and picketers will be approaching delivery drivers with leaflets letting them know what was going on.

They added: “We’ve got around 40 to 45 supporters here today. I’m confident this action will lead to further negotiations. This is our last option.

“The Final Salary, which was gold-plated, has been replaced with a money purchase scheme which equates to around 50% of what we would have got before. It encourages staff to buy into the pension scheme and gives managers a higher proportion in pensions.”

A spokesman for Home Retail Group, which sells products under Argos and Homebase, said it was currently engaged in individual consultation with colleagues from the Bridgwater centre, following five months of collective consultation.

He described the new pension arrangements as ‘competitive’, adding: “Despite only 30% of union members voting in favour of industrial action, Unite have decided to proceed with strike action.

“This action will only impact a proportion of our distribution network and stores are unaffected. We have a range of contingency measures to draw on and we are committed to ensuring that there is no disruption for our customers.”

Comments (10)

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4:13pm Thu 20 Sep 12

smithy99 says...

I usually complain about strikers, but as ARGOS is a private company and not tax payer funded I am fully behind these workers.

Private companies making millions but corroding the pensions at the Coal Face for workers who are already finding times tough.

Best of luck to you. Hopefully you will get more sympathy and support for a genuine reason rather than when the Post Office goes on strike nearly every month for any old excuse.
I usually complain about strikers, but as ARGOS is a private company and not tax payer funded I am fully behind these workers. Private companies making millions but corroding the pensions at the Coal Face for workers who are already finding times tough. Best of luck to you. Hopefully you will get more sympathy and support for a genuine reason rather than when the Post Office goes on strike nearly every month for any old excuse. smithy99
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Caeler says...

Whilst I appreciate employees will be sick with worry, Argos is being a responsible company by ensuring it continues trading and makes sure it is around to pay the pension.

The pension deficit is £879.7m where as their operating profit this year was £89m with net cash at £181m. Doesn't that sound a bit scary and worth trying to close the scheme?

Of course they should treat all employees the same and I hope unite and the employees get a solution agreed.
Whilst I appreciate employees will be sick with worry, Argos is being a responsible company by ensuring it continues trading and makes sure it is around to pay the pension. The pension deficit is £879.7m where as their operating profit this year was £89m with net cash at £181m. Doesn't that sound a bit scary and worth trying to close the scheme? Of course they should treat all employees the same and I hope unite and the employees get a solution agreed. Caeler
  • Score: 0

8:56am Fri 21 Sep 12

Pensionerfromwithin says...

To Caeler,

You seem to be well informed about the finances of the Home Retail Group, perhaps you can enlighten us about the £290 million share buy back 18 months ago? (one of the worst shares buy backs in corporate history)- Now THAT sounds scary! or the coincedence that 2 years ago the pension fund was
actually in surplus?

Over to you
To Caeler, You seem to be well informed about the finances of the Home Retail Group, perhaps you can enlighten us about the £290 million share buy back 18 months ago? (one of the worst shares buy backs in corporate history)- Now THAT sounds scary! or the coincedence that 2 years ago the pension fund was actually in surplus? Over to you Pensionerfromwithin
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Fri 21 Sep 12

John Gray says...

Decent Company pension schemes are being destroyed by the Government which is failing to do anything about the nonsensical accounting standards used to calculate the cost of pensions.

It’s called "Mark to Market accounting" and due to abnormal "once in 200 year" market conditions it makes pensions seem far more expensive than they actually are. Its nothing like £879 million. These figures are simply rubbish.

Argos workers are being cheated out of their pensions for no good reason. Even worse closing the scheme does not get rid of any deficit. It can even make things worse.

This is an excuse to cut pay and benefits - pure and simple. Shame on Argos and good luck to the Strikers.
Decent Company pension schemes are being destroyed by the Government which is failing to do anything about the nonsensical accounting standards used to calculate the cost of pensions. It’s called "Mark to Market accounting" and due to abnormal "once in 200 year" market conditions it makes pensions seem far more expensive than they actually are. Its nothing like £879 million. These figures are simply rubbish. Argos workers are being cheated out of their pensions for no good reason. Even worse closing the scheme does not get rid of any deficit. It can even make things worse. This is an excuse to cut pay and benefits - pure and simple. Shame on Argos and good luck to the Strikers. John Gray
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Caeler says...

Hey pensionerwithin - not informed, just able to use google! My company recently closed their DB scheme so I know what these guys are going through but we've all got to be realistic. Too many companies have made poor decisions meaning pensioners and future pensioners are left high and dry.
Hey pensionerwithin - not informed, just able to use google! My company recently closed their DB scheme so I know what these guys are going through but we've all got to be realistic. Too many companies have made poor decisions meaning pensioners and future pensioners are left high and dry. Caeler
  • Score: 0

3:51pm Sat 22 Sep 12

*SomersetSocialistParty* says...

Workers strike as Argos tightens the screws

Dave Murray spoke to Unite members at Argos's Basildon depot

Unite union members at Argos are taking strike action against their employer's decision to end their final salary pension scheme.

The scheme was closed to new entrants some years ago, and, having closed the scheme the company is now leaning on its workers to join a new one which does not offer a pension based on earnings, but works as a savings scheme, leaving retired workers at the mercy of the financial services industry at the point of their retirement.

The union is demanding a compensation package for Argos workers who are affected by the shutdown.

The attack on pensions is just the latest move by Argos to tighten the screws on its workers. The Unite union won recognition at the Basildon depot 12 years ago, but only after a long campaign by its members, who faced down management threats of dismissal in order to organise a majority of workers.

Since then, the bosses have systematically tried to undercut wages and undermine the union by using agency staff wherever possible; according to management, 62% of the Basildon workforce are 'temps' employed on lower wage rates through an agency.

Agency assault on workers' rights

In a further assault on the idea of 'the rate for the job' Argos now uses two separate agencies, Transline and Single Resource, paying workers different rates depending on which agency supplies them.

At best agency workers get a six-month contract, with a requirement that they must be prepared to work 20 out of 24 Sundays.

All workers are subject to relentless pressure to cut down 'idle time' and meet 'Key Productivity Indicators'; they face a ruthless response if they are forced to take sick leave.

In fairness, not all Argos employees are under the cosh. Chief executive Terry Duddy 'earned' £1.1 million last year. His pension fund is worth £4 million and will pay out £187,000 a year on retirement.

'Hard luck' story

His management underlings in Basildon have made it clear that in the New Year they intend to recruit permanent staff at below the current union rate, claiming lack of profitability in the face of stiff competition from online stores - like all bosses, they are always ready with a 'hard luck' story.

In reality the dispute is part of a concerted attack by employers in both the public and private sector on the hard won wages and conditions of workers everywhere.

The strike runs for four days from Wednesday 19 September. There will be pickets at distribution depots, and the union will be leafleting Argos stores to explain to customers what a shoddy deal Argos gives its employees.

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party visit:
www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Workers strike as Argos tightens the screws Dave Murray spoke to Unite members at Argos's Basildon depot Unite union members at Argos are taking strike action against their employer's decision to end their final salary pension scheme. The scheme was closed to new entrants some years ago, and, having closed the scheme the company is now leaning on its workers to join a new one which does not offer a pension based on earnings, but works as a savings scheme, leaving retired workers at the mercy of the financial services industry at the point of their retirement. The union is demanding a compensation package for Argos workers who are affected by the shutdown. The attack on pensions is just the latest move by Argos to tighten the screws on its workers. The Unite union won recognition at the Basildon depot 12 years ago, but only after a long campaign by its members, who faced down management threats of dismissal in order to organise a majority of workers. Since then, the bosses have systematically tried to undercut wages and undermine the union by using agency staff wherever possible; according to management, 62% of the Basildon workforce are 'temps' employed on lower wage rates through an agency. Agency assault on workers' rights In a further assault on the idea of 'the rate for the job' Argos now uses two separate agencies, Transline and Single Resource, paying workers different rates depending on which agency supplies them. At best agency workers get a six-month contract, with a requirement that they must be prepared to work 20 out of 24 Sundays. All workers are subject to relentless pressure to cut down 'idle time' and meet 'Key Productivity Indicators'; they face a ruthless response if they are forced to take sick leave. In fairness, not all Argos employees are under the cosh. Chief executive Terry Duddy 'earned' £1.1 million last year. His pension fund is worth £4 million and will pay out £187,000 a year on retirement. 'Hard luck' story His management underlings in Basildon have made it clear that in the New Year they intend to recruit permanent staff at below the current union rate, claiming lack of profitability in the face of stiff competition from online stores - like all bosses, they are always ready with a 'hard luck' story. In reality the dispute is part of a concerted attack by employers in both the public and private sector on the hard won wages and conditions of workers everywhere. The strike runs for four days from Wednesday 19 September. There will be pickets at distribution depots, and the union will be leafleting Argos stores to explain to customers what a shoddy deal Argos gives its employees. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk *SomersetSocialistParty*
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Sat 22 Sep 12

*SomersetSocialistParty* says...

Caeler wrote:
Hey pensionerwithin - not informed, just able to use google! My company recently closed their DB scheme so I know what these guys are going through but we've all got to be realistic. Too many companies have made poor decisions meaning pensioners and future pensioners are left high and dry.
To Caeler,
In responding to Pensionerwithin's comments, you explained that you are highly adept at googling....that said, however,
you appeared to overlook Pensionerwithin's main points regarding the company's disasterous share buy-back and the previous relatively healthy position of the pension fund....Please find them copied below for your ease of reference...readers will look forward eagerly to your considered response....

Pensionerfromwithin says...
8:56am Fri 21 Sep 12

To Caeler,

You seem to be well informed about the finances of the Home Retail Group, perhaps you can enlighten us about the £290 million share buy back 18 months ago? (one of the worst shares buy backs in corporate history)- Now THAT sounds scary! or the coincedence that 2 years ago the pension fund was
actually in surplus?

Over to you”
[quote][p][bold]Caeler[/bold] wrote: Hey pensionerwithin - not informed, just able to use google! My company recently closed their DB scheme so I know what these guys are going through but we've all got to be realistic. Too many companies have made poor decisions meaning pensioners and future pensioners are left high and dry.[/p][/quote]To Caeler, In responding to Pensionerwithin's comments, you explained that you are highly adept at googling....that said, however, you appeared to overlook Pensionerwithin's main points regarding the company's disasterous share buy-back and the previous relatively healthy position of the pension fund....Please find them copied below for your ease of reference...readers will look forward eagerly to your considered response.... Pensionerfromwithin says... 8:56am Fri 21 Sep 12 To Caeler, You seem to be well informed about the finances of the Home Retail Group, perhaps you can enlighten us about the £290 million share buy back 18 months ago? (one of the worst shares buy backs in corporate history)- Now THAT sounds scary! or the coincedence that 2 years ago the pension fund was actually in surplus? Over to you” *SomersetSocialistParty*
  • Score: 0

5:22pm Sat 22 Sep 12

*SomersetSocialistParty* says...

We can beat Con-Dems' austerity

March 20 October, TUC demo

Strike, 24-hour general strike

John McInally, the national vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) spoke in favour of the resolution calling for general strike action against austerity at the recent TUC Congress. The motion was moved by Steve Gillan, general secretary of the POA prison officers' union, seconded by Bob Crow, leader of the RMT transport union and received overwhelming support. This is John's speech:

The motion calls for coordinated action and 'far-reaching' campaigns, including considering the practicalities of a general strike against the government's austerity programme.

Austerity is a sanitised expression for what is an unremitting class war on our people.

The aim is to achieve, on the basis of the cuts and privatisation programme, the biggest transfer of wealth and power in many generations.

At its core is a 'race to the bottom' that is ripping the heart out of our communities.

It means the driving down of wage levels, massive job cuts, the destruction of the welfare state and the NHS and the public services that provide the basis of a civilised existence for working people.

This unprecedented assault can only proceed because of the poisonous political consensus that exists among the major parties - shamefully including Labour - that says there is no alternative to the market and the barbaric proposition that the acquisition of obscene wealth and profit by a tiny unaccountable elite comes before the needs of millions.

Those millions are crying out for an alternative.

They watch in fear and disgust as one outrage follows another:
The Libor fixing rate affecting millions of workers
Banks laundering drug money
Government-instigate
d hate campaigns against the disabled and unemployed

30 November demonstrated the massive strength and potential of our movement.

But rather than building on that tremendous display of class solidarity the abject surrender that followed sent out a message of division, despair and defeatism.

We now have an opportunity to send out a message of hope - loud and clear - that we intend to harness the full strength of our movement and class to stop the austerity programme in its tracks.

The 20 October must be more than another protest march - it must be the platform on which we build coordinated action on the widest possible front across both the public and private sector.

Every union here has a legitimate dispute on pay, pensions, jobs, privatisation or a related issue.

So, let's hear no nonsense about the difficulties or legalities of organising coordinated action.

Let's not fixate about the 'scary words', general strike.

Let us rather sit down together and agree a date for joint action and wider campaigning across the trade union movement as soon as practicably possible after 20 October.

A 24-hour strike as a start to an effective programme of coordinated industrial action and wider campaigning would irrevocably shift the balance of forces in our favour.

How many times must it be said - campaigning works and action gets results.

We have recently won thousands of jobs in the civil service by organising action.

The attacks are increasing, not abating. Millions are waiting for a lead to fight back. Let's provide that lead.

--------------------
--------------------
--------------------
--------------------


National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN)

For more information on how to build for the demo, and campaign for a 24-hour general strike see www.shopstewards.net or email the National Shop Stewards Network: info@shopstewards.ne
t
We can beat Con-Dems' austerity March 20 October, TUC demo Strike, 24-hour general strike John McInally, the national vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) spoke in favour of the resolution calling for general strike action against austerity at the recent TUC Congress. The motion was moved by Steve Gillan, general secretary of the POA prison officers' union, seconded by Bob Crow, leader of the RMT transport union and received overwhelming support. This is John's speech: The motion calls for coordinated action and 'far-reaching' campaigns, including considering the practicalities of a general strike against the government's austerity programme. Austerity is a sanitised expression for what is an unremitting class war on our people. The aim is to achieve, on the basis of the cuts and privatisation programme, the biggest transfer of wealth and power in many generations. At its core is a 'race to the bottom' that is ripping the heart out of our communities. It means the driving down of wage levels, massive job cuts, the destruction of the welfare state and the NHS and the public services that provide the basis of a civilised existence for working people. This unprecedented assault can only proceed because of the poisonous political consensus that exists among the major parties - shamefully including Labour - that says there is no alternative to the market and the barbaric proposition that the acquisition of obscene wealth and profit by a tiny unaccountable elite comes before the needs of millions. Those millions are crying out for an alternative. They watch in fear and disgust as one outrage follows another: The Libor fixing rate affecting millions of workers Banks laundering drug money Government-instigate d hate campaigns against the disabled and unemployed 30 November [public sector strike] demonstrated the massive strength and potential of our movement. But rather than building on that tremendous display of class solidarity the abject surrender [by right-wing trade union leaders] that followed sent out a message of division, despair and defeatism. We now have an opportunity to send out a message of hope - loud and clear - that we intend to harness the full strength of our movement and class to stop the austerity programme in its tracks. The 20 October [TUC demonstration] must be more than another protest march - it must be the platform on which we build coordinated action on the widest possible front across both the public and private sector. Every union here has a legitimate dispute on pay, pensions, jobs, privatisation or a related issue. So, let's hear no nonsense about the difficulties or legalities of organising coordinated action. Let's not fixate about the 'scary words', general strike. Let us rather sit down together and agree a date for joint action and wider campaigning across the trade union movement as soon as practicably possible after 20 October. A 24-hour strike as a start to an effective programme of coordinated industrial action and wider campaigning would irrevocably shift the balance of forces in our favour. How many times must it be said - campaigning works and action gets results. We have recently won thousands of jobs in the civil service by organising action. The attacks are increasing, not abating. Millions are waiting for a lead to fight back. Let's provide that lead. -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) For more information on how to build for the demo, and campaign for a 24-hour general strike see www.shopstewards.net or email the National Shop Stewards Network: info@shopstewards.ne t *SomersetSocialistParty*
  • Score: 0

11:57am Sun 23 Sep 12

scally666 says...

*SomersetSocialistPa
rty*
wrote:
We can beat Con-Dems' austerity

March 20 October, TUC demo

Strike, 24-hour general strike

John McInally, the national vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) spoke in favour of the resolution calling for general strike action against austerity at the recent TUC Congress. The motion was moved by Steve Gillan, general secretary of the POA prison officers' union, seconded by Bob Crow, leader of the RMT transport union and received overwhelming support. This is John's speech:

The motion calls for coordinated action and 'far-reaching' campaigns, including considering the practicalities of a general strike against the government's austerity programme.

Austerity is a sanitised expression for what is an unremitting class war on our people.

The aim is to achieve, on the basis of the cuts and privatisation programme, the biggest transfer of wealth and power in many generations.

At its core is a 'race to the bottom' that is ripping the heart out of our communities.

It means the driving down of wage levels, massive job cuts, the destruction of the welfare state and the NHS and the public services that provide the basis of a civilised existence for working people.

This unprecedented assault can only proceed because of the poisonous political consensus that exists among the major parties - shamefully including Labour - that says there is no alternative to the market and the barbaric proposition that the acquisition of obscene wealth and profit by a tiny unaccountable elite comes before the needs of millions.

Those millions are crying out for an alternative.

They watch in fear and disgust as one outrage follows another:
The Libor fixing rate affecting millions of workers
Banks laundering drug money
Government-instigate

d hate campaigns against the disabled and unemployed

30 November demonstrated the massive strength and potential of our movement.

But rather than building on that tremendous display of class solidarity the abject surrender that followed sent out a message of division, despair and defeatism.

We now have an opportunity to send out a message of hope - loud and clear - that we intend to harness the full strength of our movement and class to stop the austerity programme in its tracks.

The 20 October must be more than another protest march - it must be the platform on which we build coordinated action on the widest possible front across both the public and private sector.

Every union here has a legitimate dispute on pay, pensions, jobs, privatisation or a related issue.

So, let's hear no nonsense about the difficulties or legalities of organising coordinated action.

Let's not fixate about the 'scary words', general strike.

Let us rather sit down together and agree a date for joint action and wider campaigning across the trade union movement as soon as practicably possible after 20 October.

A 24-hour strike as a start to an effective programme of coordinated industrial action and wider campaigning would irrevocably shift the balance of forces in our favour.

How many times must it be said - campaigning works and action gets results.

We have recently won thousands of jobs in the civil service by organising action.

The attacks are increasing, not abating. Millions are waiting for a lead to fight back. Let's provide that lead.

--------------------

--------------------

--------------------

--------------------



National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN)

For more information on how to build for the demo, and campaign for a 24-hour general strike see www.shopstewards.net or email the National Shop Stewards Network: info@shopstewards.ne

t
Indeed we can sell some of the nations gold stocks now the price is high!! oh wait Labour done that already while the price was low and cost us Billions.Well done Brown
[quote][p][bold]*SomersetSocialistPa rty*[/bold] wrote: We can beat Con-Dems' austerity March 20 October, TUC demo Strike, 24-hour general strike John McInally, the national vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) spoke in favour of the resolution calling for general strike action against austerity at the recent TUC Congress. The motion was moved by Steve Gillan, general secretary of the POA prison officers' union, seconded by Bob Crow, leader of the RMT transport union and received overwhelming support. This is John's speech: The motion calls for coordinated action and 'far-reaching' campaigns, including considering the practicalities of a general strike against the government's austerity programme. Austerity is a sanitised expression for what is an unremitting class war on our people. The aim is to achieve, on the basis of the cuts and privatisation programme, the biggest transfer of wealth and power in many generations. At its core is a 'race to the bottom' that is ripping the heart out of our communities. It means the driving down of wage levels, massive job cuts, the destruction of the welfare state and the NHS and the public services that provide the basis of a civilised existence for working people. This unprecedented assault can only proceed because of the poisonous political consensus that exists among the major parties - shamefully including Labour - that says there is no alternative to the market and the barbaric proposition that the acquisition of obscene wealth and profit by a tiny unaccountable elite comes before the needs of millions. Those millions are crying out for an alternative. They watch in fear and disgust as one outrage follows another: The Libor fixing rate affecting millions of workers Banks laundering drug money Government-instigate d hate campaigns against the disabled and unemployed 30 November [public sector strike] demonstrated the massive strength and potential of our movement. But rather than building on that tremendous display of class solidarity the abject surrender [by right-wing trade union leaders] that followed sent out a message of division, despair and defeatism. We now have an opportunity to send out a message of hope - loud and clear - that we intend to harness the full strength of our movement and class to stop the austerity programme in its tracks. The 20 October [TUC demonstration] must be more than another protest march - it must be the platform on which we build coordinated action on the widest possible front across both the public and private sector. Every union here has a legitimate dispute on pay, pensions, jobs, privatisation or a related issue. So, let's hear no nonsense about the difficulties or legalities of organising coordinated action. Let's not fixate about the 'scary words', general strike. Let us rather sit down together and agree a date for joint action and wider campaigning across the trade union movement as soon as practicably possible after 20 October. A 24-hour strike as a start to an effective programme of coordinated industrial action and wider campaigning would irrevocably shift the balance of forces in our favour. How many times must it be said - campaigning works and action gets results. We have recently won thousands of jobs in the civil service by organising action. The attacks are increasing, not abating. Millions are waiting for a lead to fight back. Let's provide that lead. -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) For more information on how to build for the demo, and campaign for a 24-hour general strike see www.shopstewards.net or email the National Shop Stewards Network: info@shopstewards.ne t[/p][/quote]Indeed we can sell some of the nations gold stocks now the price is high!! oh wait Labour done that already while the price was low and cost us Billions.Well done Brown scally666
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Tue 25 Sep 12

*SomersetSocialistParty* says...

Industrial Dispute Timeline for Argos

July 2008: On 17 July Argos workers in the Unite union launched a strike against an insulting pay offer of 3.8%, and the employer’s attempt to move them from weekly to monthly pay without any compensation. After a solid start to the strike it was eventually called off when Argos management revised their earlier pay offer.

January 2009: Unite condemned the decision by Argos to close its Trafford Park distribution site with the loss of over 200 jobs.

December 2011: Agency workers officially employed by Adecco at Argos in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire held a demonstration at the Argos site at Barton Business Park “against ‘pay apartheid’ which sees their pay packets up to £120-a-week lighter than their full-time colleagues” (see video).

(Note: Judith Sprieser who served as a board member of Adecco from 2008 until 2010 is presently a director of Experian plc. This is significant because in 2006 both Experian plc and Argos’ parent company (Home Retail Group) were formed following the demerger of the long-established UK conglomerate Gus plc.)

December 2011: Workers based at the Argos ‘Eurocentral’ warehouse in Motherwell, Scotland, undertook twenty-four hours of strike action on Thursday 8th December in defence of their pension rights. The dispute organized through Unite involved over thirty-five drivers and warehouse operatives currently employed by the sub-contractor Norbert Dentressangle.

February 2012: Unite disputes Argos’ decision to close one of its most efficient distribution sites, employing about 750 staff, at Corby, Northamptonshire.

June 2012: Argos continues utilizing free labour through the government’s workfare program.

September 2012: Unite union members at four of Argos’ key regional distribution sites (Basildon, Bridgwater, Heywood and Magna Park in Leicestershire) are taking strike action against their employer’s decision to end their final salary pension scheme. The strike runs for four days from Wednesday 19 September. There will be pickets at distribution depots, and the union will be leafleting Argos stores to explain to customers what a shoddy deal Argos gives its employees.


For more information, or to join the Socialist Party visit:
www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Industrial Dispute Timeline for Argos July 2008: On 17 July Argos workers in the Unite union launched a strike against an insulting pay offer of 3.8%, and the employer’s attempt to move them from weekly to monthly pay without any compensation. After a solid start to the strike it was eventually called off when Argos management revised their earlier pay offer. January 2009: Unite condemned the decision by Argos to close its Trafford Park distribution site with the loss of over 200 jobs. December 2011: Agency workers officially employed by Adecco at Argos in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire held a demonstration at the Argos site at Barton Business Park “against ‘pay apartheid’ which sees their pay packets up to £120-a-week lighter than their full-time colleagues” (see video). (Note: Judith Sprieser who served as a board member of Adecco from 2008 until 2010 is presently a director of Experian plc. This is significant because in 2006 both Experian plc and Argos’ parent company (Home Retail Group) were formed following the demerger of the long-established UK conglomerate Gus plc.) December 2011: Workers based at the Argos ‘Eurocentral’ warehouse in Motherwell, Scotland, undertook twenty-four hours of strike action on Thursday 8th December in defence of their pension rights. The dispute organized through Unite involved over thirty-five drivers and warehouse operatives currently employed by the sub-contractor Norbert Dentressangle. February 2012: Unite disputes Argos’ decision to close one of its most efficient distribution sites, employing about 750 staff, at Corby, Northamptonshire. June 2012: Argos continues utilizing free labour through the government’s workfare program. September 2012: Unite union members at four of Argos’ key regional distribution sites (Basildon, Bridgwater, Heywood and Magna Park in Leicestershire) are taking strike action against their employer’s decision to end their final salary pension scheme. The strike runs for four days from Wednesday 19 September. There will be pickets at distribution depots, and the union will be leafleting Argos stores to explain to customers what a shoddy deal Argos gives its employees. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk *SomersetSocialistParty*
  • Score: 0

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