A comprehensive new recognition agreement has been finalised with logistics giant GXO covering all of the former Supply Chain warehousing and transport operations that were outsourced by BT in May.
Crucially, the agreement enables the union to begin canvassing potential new members at the Midway Distribution Centre in Milton Keynes, where the union has never previously been recognised for collective bargaining purposes. That site is now set to be the centrepiece of GXO’s consumer operations under plans which will also see significant new investment in Northallerton.
Some of the 20 + new members the branch signed up on Tuesday at the GXO EE site at Milton Keynes.
The CWU is shortly to progress with meeting employees at Midway, working together with management to extend recognition in the previously unrecognised area.
Apart from reaffirming the CWU’s right to collectively bargain on behalf of nearly 300 ex- Supply Chain staff impacted by the TUPE transfer, the formal signing of a new and expanded recognition agreement cements a highly constructive dialogue that has been taking place between the union and management on multiples issues since May 2022.
Positive talks are also underway on a grading review for HGV and van drivers which was technically initiated by Supply Chain in the face of acute pandemic and Brexit-related driver shortages, but not seriously started before the shock outsourcing announcement.
The CWU and GXO are together working towards the joint desire to have properly benchmarked pay rates – negating the need for a range of ongoing “temporary allowances” that Supply Chain rushed through in September 2021 to stem what was becoming a full-blown exodus of desperately needed drivers.
National officer for GXO, Tracey Fussey explains : “While it’s fair to say that the CWU initially had deep concerns about an outsourcing that we still believe was unnecessary and ill-considered by BT, our relationship with GXO has got off to an excellent start. That is something we’re obviously looking to build on for the benefit of all our members in the company.”