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From: The Socialist issue 938, 1 March 2017: Build a movement to save our NHS

Search site for keywords: Leeds - Workers - Pensions - Pay - Socialist - Strike - GMB - Low pay

Warehouse workers walk out over pay and pensions

Picket Line photo Isabelle Grant

Picket Line photo Isabelle Grant   (Click to enlarge)

Isabelle Grant, Leeds Socialist Party

GMB members at Spectrum for Arcadia in Leeds are on strike over pay. Over 70 joined the picket lines on 24 February.

The employers are using the excuse of the introduction of the Tories' 'living wage' to refuse to give any increase to those members of staff on that rate.

Not only that, but these staff are also not allowed to pay into the higher contribution pension payment scheme even though some of them have been working in the warehouse for over 30 years.

The Arcadia group were the former owners of BHS, and asset-stripped the retail chain. Some of the same mistakes are being made again - merging of brands, underfunding of equipment and staff being expected to fix it when it breaks. Additionally the work is actually operated by logistics contractor DHL, which, like many distribution centres, uses agency labour, often on a much more insecure basis than permanent staff.

And for these failings it won't be Arcadia group owner Sir Philip Green that will pay the price - like at BHS, it will be the workers.

The Socialist Party calls for an end to low pay at Spectrum, no to a multi-tier workforce, giving agency staff the right to a permanent contract and the same pay, terms and conditions as the permanent workforce.

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