Beer strike by Unite union could hit deliveries

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Beer pumps could run dry after a strike ballot of drivers delivering drinks to pubs was announced.

Almost 1,000 workers for transport company Kuehne and Nagel Drinks Logistics (KNDL), which has a site at Tuscany Way, Wakefield Europort, are being balloted in a row over changes to working conditions.

Deliveries of Heineken, Kronenbourg, Shepherd Neame and John Smith’s, along with Britvic soft drinks, could be severely disrupted if the strike goes ahead, the Unite union has warned.

Unite is balloting 970 members at 27 sites in England, Scotland and Wales on strike action and action short of a strike in a vote which closes on August 28.

Around 100 Unite members work at the site at Wakefield Europort, near Normanton.

Unite’s national officer Rhys McCarthy said: “In recent months the management at KNDL has rode roughshod over the national agreement and has unilaterally started imposing changes to working conditions for our members without meaningful consultation.

“Unite’s repeated attempts to rectify these breaches have been met with intransigence by the management and, as a last resort, our members are being balloted for industrial action.

“We call on the management to enter into constructive talks with Unite immediately to restore good industrial relations by adhering to the national agreement that they signed up to.”

KNDL said in a statement: “The company is fully committed to ongoing dialogue with Unite and plans to meet with union representatives on August 29 to discuss the situation further.”