UK: Matalan warehouse workers strike following ongoing wage disputes & owed back pay; Includes company comments

In August 2019, GMB Union members at a Matalan distribution centre in Liverpool began a strike following an ongoing row over pay.

Workers voted to walk out after management made an offer which would see around 25% of employees who work on weekends receive a pay rise of 1.5%. This was described as an "insulting pay offer".

Workers also had concerns that a pay rise, agreed in April, did not come into effect until July, meaning workers were owed back pay of £135. According to workers, Matalan wanted this to be self-funded, and asked workers to give up their extra bank holiday as part of the deal. 

A spokesman for Matalan stated the majority of staff would receive a 4.7% pay increase and that the offer was the 'largest our company has ever offered'.

In October 2019, the strike was suspended, after Matalan and the GMB brokered a new deal, accepted by 87% of staff in a ballot.

More company comments can be found in the articles below.

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Article
22 October 2019

UK: Matalan warehouse workers suspend 6- week long strike following new pay offer, accepted by 87% of staff

Author: British Broadcasting Corperation (BBC)

"Merseyside Matalan warehouse workers strike settled", 22 October 2019

...More than 500 members of the GMB union at Matalan's Northern Distribution Centre in Knowsley, Merseyside have staged industrial action since August....

...The strikes were suspended on Friday after a new pay offer, which was accepted by 87% of staff in a ballot...

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Article
22 October 2019

UK: Striking Matalan warehouse workers share personal concerns as strike over low pay at Matalan warehouse reaches sixth week

Author: Emilia Bona, Liverpool Echo

"Survival at the picket line: Matalan staff on strike for six weeks are at breaking point", 20 October 2019

Missed mortgage payments...Christmas and a parent's funeral to pay for. These are just some of the money worries facing workers at Matalan's distribution centre in Kirkby , where staff have been on strike for six weeks...

...While some staff have been forced to miss their payments on mortgages and car finance, others are stuck in the impossible situation of choosing between filling the fridge or putting the heating on...

 ...Striking staff hold a picket line...which runs from 6am every Monday to 6am every Wednesday...

...As part of their annual pay negotiations, Matalan factored...[the National Living Wage] increase into their pay rise...the company's attempt to pass this off as a higher pay rise didn't go down well...

There was also an issue over the pay rise, traditionally agreed in April, not coming into effect until July - meaning workers are owed...£135. Matalan wants this back pay to be self-funding, and has asked workers to give up their extra bank holiday pay as part of the deal...

 ...In a statement...Matalan said: “...After extensive negotiations...Matalan and the GMB are pleased to announce that a fully recommended deal has been brokered, which will be put to ballot this weekend...."...

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Article
23 August 2019

UK: Matalan warehouse workers strike after 'insulting pay offer' from management

Author: BBC

"Merseyside Matalan warehouse workers strike in pay dispute", 19 August 2019

About 500 Matalan warehouse workers have begun a 24-hour strike amid an ongoing row over pay.

Members of the GMB union at the clothes store's distribution centre in Knowsley, Merseyside, walked out at 14:00 BST.

The industrial action is the result of an "insulting pay offer," a GMB spokesman said...Further strikes are expected to follow after last-minute talks failed on Monday morning, the GMB added.

Workers voted to walk out after management made a pay offer which would see some workers receive a rise of 1.5%, the equivalent to a real-term pay cut, the union said...Matalan said the 1.5% pay rise relates to around 25% of employees who work weekend shifts and will be an increase on their £11.14 pay rate.

But a spokesman for the store said the majority of staff would receive a 4.7% pay increase and the offer - for all distribution centre staff on core shifts - was "the largest our company has ever offered without any other changes to T&Cs".The spokesman added: "It is well above inflation and cost of living increases as well as amongst the highest offered in our sector."...

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