The GMB Union is holding a ballot to decide whether Yodel lorry drivers should strike over current working conditions.
The strike ballot opens on August 25 and closes on September 15, meaning industrial action could take place during Yodel’s busiest ‘peak’ period in the lead up to Christmas.
According to the union, Yodel’s LGV1 drivers are angry over pay and working conditions, specifically their work life balance; how agency workers are paid more than employed drivers; and an accumulation of outstanding annual leave payments.
Drivers also feel there has been a failure to offer substantial pay enhancements to stem the tide of drivers leaving the business for better paid jobs elsewhere, and that there has also been a failure to honor contractual agreements around pay for holiday and sick leave.
Nadine Houghton, national officer, GMB, said, “In a truly staggering act of corporate self-sabotage, Yodel has picked a fight with its organized LGV1 drivers at exactly the moment they should be bending over backwards to make sure they are happy and stay with the business.
“GMB has tried for many months to settle this dispute. Time again drivers’ demands have fallen on deaf ears. Our members, who keep Yodel delivering parcels up and down the country, know their worth and they are prepared to stand firm until Yodel meet their reasonable demands. Revenue in Yodel is up, parcel deliveries are up, new customers are coming on board.
“Yet Yodel want to cause trouble with the very workers that make all of that possible – at a time when they are struggling to keep hold of drivers, let alone being able to recruit new ones. It’s ridiculous behavior and Yodel needs to see sense before it’s too late.”
A Yodel spokesperson said, “We are disappointed by the GMB’s ballot plans having been proactive in conversations with the union for a number of weeks. We will continue to work with our union colleagues in good faith and are committed to further discussions to resolve any remaining matters.”