Iceland store may be hit by new stock freeze

PUBLISHED: 16:41 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 13:39 04 May 2010

CHRISTMAS supplies to Ely s Iceland store could be hit by a strike over pay. Staff at the company s north London distribution depot, which delivers to Ely, have rejected a 2.4 per cent pay rise and are set to walk out in a series of one and two-day strike

CHRISTMAS supplies to Ely's Iceland store could be hit by a strike over pay. Staff at the company's north London distribution depot, which delivers to Ely, have rejected a 2.4 per cent pay rise and are set to walk out in a series of one and two-day strikes.

The 365 workers are employed by transport company, DHL Exel but the T&GWU said it also blamed Iceland for the dispute.

The union claims any pay increases by DHL at the depot have to be authorised, in the first instance, by Iceland.

Staff at Ely's Iceland store in the Cloisters have started receiving extra supplies in case the strikes, planned for tomorrow (Friday) and next Thursday and Friday, are actioned.

A spokesperson at the store said: "They threaten us with this action every Christmas. Extra stock has already started to arrive and we have quite a phenomenal amount of goods in the store.

"We are getting updates all the time and everything is being done to keep supplies going. People have already started stocking up their freezers for the Christmas holiday and we have been incredibly busy.

"We are bound to run out of some items - but then we do every Christmas."

Iceland's Enfield distribution depot has about 115 drivers and 250 warehouse operatives. It delivers to about 180 Iceland stores in London and across the South East and East Anglia, including stores in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex and Kent.

"Iceland is doing very well," said Pete Kavanagh, T&GWU senior regional industrial organiser. "Iceland sees fit to sponsor I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here on TV while refusing to share profits with the workers who make sure the products get into stores."

A spokesman for Iceland, said: "The Enfield distribution centre is managed by a third party, DHL Excel. We are working closely together with our partner to minimise impact and maximise store availability in this busy period."

Drivers employed by DHL Excel have strikes planned for Friday, December 15, Thursday, December 21 and December 22.

The T&GWU claims some trucks were brought in three hours earlier than normal to try to avoid picket lines, but their members have pledged to continue their action.

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