Argos faces one-day strikes in distribution service

Argos faces “severe disruption” to its customer distribution service this summer as workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike over pay.

Nearly three-quarters (67%) of staff who took part in a Unite union ballot voted for a series of 24-hour strikes escalating to a four-day stoppage over a pay dispute with the budget retailer.

Distribution workers at the company are angry at their below inflation pay deal offer, despite parent company Home Retail Group reporting a £243m or 16% rise in profits from last year.

Unite said workers are struggling to keep up with rising food and fuel costs and should not have to endure more pay cuts.

Details of the strike, which will affect regional distribution centres at Basildon, Bridgwater, Heywood and Magna Park in Leicestershire, will be announced next week.

Unite national secretary Jennie Formby said: “Argos now faces severe disruption to its customer distribution service. Many distribution workers earn as little as £17,000 a year for doing back-breaking, essential work for this company.

“A below inflation wage offer is a pay cut and this is totally unacceptable to our members. They are already struggling to keep up with rising food and energy costs.

“This is a hugely profitable company and all our members are asking for is a fair share of the wealth they’ve worked so hard to create.”

Formby added that in 2007, chief executive officer Terry Duddy was rewarded with a 58% increase in his salary package to take it to more than £1.7m and the firm’s finance director Richard Ashton will receive total earning this year of £882,000.

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