Industrial action has come to an end at shoe manufacturer Clarks after an agreement was reached with the Community union.
Warehouse staff at the Westway distribution centre in Street, Somerset have been on strike since October over pay and conditions, claiming that Clarks wants to “fire and rehire” them onto new contracts that would mean a pay cut for long-serving employees.
Last month it was reported that the company had called in mediation service Acas to help resolve the dispute.
Community has now announced that an agreement has been reached that will see workers’ pay protected.
A joint statement from Clarks and Community said: “We are pleased that a resolution has been reached that works in everybody’s interests, protects Community members’ livelihoods, and recognises their loyalty to Clarks.
“Following an indicative ballot of Community members it is confirmed that normal working has now resumed.
“Community and Clarks express their thanks to Acas for its support and look forward to close co-operation as we move on from the dispute and commit to positive industrial relations in the future.”
The relationship between Clarks and Community has not always been so amicable. In November, the union accused Clarks of using agency workers to cover tasks performed by workers who are on strike – a claim denied by the retailer.
In October’s strike ballot, 88% of staff voted in favour of industrial action, with some employees fearing they could lose between 15% and 20% of their annual income if forced onto new contracts.