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Argos drivers to go on strike for Christmas

By Chris Dawson December 13, 2016 - 5:20 pm

Tis the season to be striking, Fa la la la la, la la la la!

As if it wasn’t enough for CWU Post Office workers to go on Strike for 5 days from the 19th and ASLEF and RMT Southern Rail employees to be in the middle of a three day walkout, now Unite Argos delivery drivers are to withdraw their labour for three days starting on the 19th December.

Edited to add: On the 14th December Wincanton and Unite reached a confidential deal (for which read both parties gave ground but don’t want to admit it). All proposed strike action has been suspended pending a ballot of their members.

The drivers don’t actually work for Argos but for haulage company Wincanton and are based at Argos’ national distribution centre in Staffordshire. This warehouse distributes goods to seven regional Argos distribution centres which in a hub and spoke arrangement replenish each individual Argos store.

It is absolutely no accident that the drivers are aiming to cause as much disruption as possible to consumer’s Christmases or “havoc and chaos” as Unite term it. What better time of year to wage war and hold a company to ransom? Unite point out that there will be a lot of very unhappy Argos customers if they don’t receive goods ordered as presents for relatives this Christmas and said “We can assure Argos customers that strike dates are only being announced as a last resort and that Unite’s door is open 24/7 to try and settle this long-standing dispute“.

Seeing as the dispute has been running for two years, I can’t help wondering why Unite didn’t call the strike back in November or wait until January and the answer is of course Unite want to cause as much misery to consumers as possible and the more children in tears on Christmas morning the better as far as they’re concerned, although of course they insist it’s all Wincanton’s fault.

sainsburys-ebay-click-and-collectArgos do say that they have contingency plans in place and are working hard to ensure deliveries aren’t affected. The good news is that the strike should not affect eBay Click and Collect orders in any way as these are delivered direct into the store located nearest to the end customer.

Whilst in the past there was a healthy amount of public sympathy for striking workers, the CWU found dwindling support in their last Royal Mail Christmas strikes a few years back. The public appeared to get fed up with being held to ransom by the posties every couple of years and if Argos can’t deliver this Christmas then customers will probably just switch their custom to arch rival Amazon instead.

  • TINKER
    3 months ago

    another bunch of dozy buggers showing how much they can be done without

  • Mike
    3 months ago

    Sack them all.

  • Joe
    3 months ago

    Short-sighted fools. Like Royal Mail workers who went on strike a few years ago, consumers just went to other couriers such as Hermes and never came back.

    People like this don’t deserve a job IMO.

  • Stu
    3 months ago

    Dozy buggers…. sack them all…really????

    It is these dozy buggers that probably help deliver all of YOUR mail at very cheap rates – and for pretty awful wages and working conditions.

    The usual hateful spite from the great British public at people trying to earn a decent living.

    If none of them deserve their jobs who is going to deliver your orders – morons.

    • TINKER
      3 months ago

      yep dozy buggers and stupid too we also think they should have good working conditions and a reasonable wage
      though holding the public or employers to ransom is not the way,
      handing opportunities to alternative methods and rival companys
      is stupid
      stay at work , get a wage , work to rule ,
      striking only helps the political manipulation of the unions
      you wont see the full time union official go hungry yet the union members may

    • Stu
      3 months ago

      So if that’s NOT how to do it, what IS the way to do it??

    • TINKER
      3 months ago

      stay at work ,get a wage, be a jobs worth, work to rule ,play the system, be awkward,
      do anything but strike

    • Stu
      3 months ago

      So don’t do anything different to what you are already doing?
      how does that help you if it hasn’t done so already?
      I would have thought that with these sorts of companies work to rule (I assume by that you mean that you do absolutely nothing more than the exact duties you were employed to do – as in, don’t help in any way at all) would not be the best way to get on in your job – in any job really. These companies probably have things in their terms of employment that say something along the lines of “extra duties may also be required” or similar to get round this.
      Play the system – what does that mean?
      and be awkward – by doing what exactly?
      All very “groovy” terms but they don’t really mean much.

    • tinker
      3 months ago

      so struking works then?

    • Sam O'levski
      3 months ago

      Amazing dispute here on tamebay with stuff like this….
      ”The usual hateful spite from the great British public at people trying to earn a decent living.
      If none of them deserve their jobs who is going to deliver your orders – morons.”

      Ever think that the great British public are fed up with the ‘great’ British unions trying to flex their muscles for what is usually their own political ends ?
      Any of you old enough to remember Hillman/Rootes ? A neighbour of ours many years ago was a shop steward, boasting about strike action etc, and now look at what’s happened – Japanese came along and beat us at what we used to be best at.
      Dare I mention a politician still loved and loathed in equal measure for the action she took to break union power, as a large part of the British public had had enough of some would-be politicians in the unions constantly disrupting the country ?

      I don’t know all the details of this dispute, but I do know that as a self employed person, I’m earning far far less than any of those threatening to strike, and I probably work more hours than them, so no sympathy from me I’m afraid.

    • Stu
      3 months ago

      I never said striking works – but I did ask a number of questions if you would like to clarify those.
      I’m not saying I have the answers, just wanted to know what other ways people thought would be progressive rather than confrontational.
      Most people probably agree that the unions should be left in the past – along with THAT politician!
      I am self employed too and work long hours and probably for less than a hell of a lot of people. That is my choice. Because I earn less does not mean I should simply dismiss the working conditions of others or have no sympathy for them because they earn more than I do. Maybe it is the huge companies that pay a pittance for days work that should be on the receiving end of peoples anger, not other hard working folk just trying to make a living.

    • TINKER
      3 months ago

      simples
      if society demands low cost ,you get low paid workers

    • Stu
      3 months ago

      Extremely insightful – thanks for that

    • TINKER
      3 months ago

      no problem comrade

  • Steve P
    3 months ago

    “Seeing as the dispute has been running for two years, I can’t help wondering why Unite didn’t call the strike back in November or wait until January and the answer is of course Unite want to cause as much misery to consumers as possible and the more children in tears on Christmas morning the better as far as they’re concerned..”

    The above is possibly the worst piece of Daily Mail led drivel I’ve seen in print for a long while.

    I don’t know the ins/outs of this dispute I haven’t taken the time to dig / find out. I doubt you have either.

    I do know that if I had a long running dispute/whatever I’d be looking for an edge to bring it to a conclusion.

    The same as we ALL do to improve our lot in life.

    • Stu
      3 months ago

      Exactly!

    • Dave P
      3 months ago

      I agree.

      ” the more children in tears on Christmas morning the better as far as they’re concerned..”
      What a stupid bit of writing. Completely over the top. At least try to see both sides of the argument. Making them out to be some kind of Grinch-esque monsters.

      Really disappointed in Tamebay. Normally think you provide a bit of balance in what can be hysterics about Ebay, Amazon etc

    • 3 months ago

      Unite have gone out of their way to be Grinch-esque monsters.

      A two year dispute and they announce two weeks before Christmas that they’re striking if Wincanton don’t pay an average £700 to each worker before Christmas.

      They use words such as “havoc and chaos” and say “There will be a lot of very unhappy Argos customers, if they don’t receive the iPhones, TVs and ‘white’ goods that they have ordered as presents for relatives this Christmas”.

      I’d have had a lot more sympathy if they’d called a strike (or at least given notice) back in November but what Unite have done is wait until the last possible moment to hit Wincanton with a strike and they’re using Argos and the threat of ruined customer’s Christmases to pile the pressure on Wincanton.

      Strike, don’t strike, I don’t care. But Unite can’t do their best to use Christmas misery in their press release and not expect me to point out that that’s what they’re doing.

  • 3 months ago

    How one sided is this article, I have to say Tamely you haven’t done a very good job on this one, poor show, poor show indeed.

  • Certified Roadman
    3 months ago

    Dem Man Have Feeling Too You Know!

  • TINKER
    3 months ago

    unite is now attempting to bugger up christmas air travel
    with a christmas strike of baggage handlers

    • 3 months ago

      Unions love to flex their muscles to bugger up Christmas. You don’t see many strikes kick off in January… they very much prefer December.

    • Steve P
      3 months ago

      unions / people /management will do whatever they think is best for their members / bank account / shareholders.

      for a union to call a strike it has to have been balloted for and a majority for industrial action won. that’s the law of the land.

      whatever the rights or the wrongs of any dispute are, it ought to be obvious that people will strike when they can get maximum leverage for their cause.

      It should also be obvious to any management that has dragged out a dispute that this sort of situation will happen.

      Unions do not flex their muscles to “bugger up Christmas” per se. Their “raison d’etre” is to look after the interests of their members and not the interests of a company’s shareholders / owners.

    • 3 months ago

      Actually in the past Unions used to look after their members. Today they often seem to be much more interested in a political agenda and want to strike for the sake of striking.

    • Andy R
      3 months ago

      They’re filling the void left by an ineffective opposition.

      But the only democratic way to effect change is through the ballot box at an election.

      Unite is stirring the sh*t this Christmas as well, across all the transport systems.

      Should be an absolute majority of workers voting for strikes to be legitimate – not just 50.1% of those bothered to the return the papers.

    • TINKER
      3 months ago

      as an Ex union shop steward I have experienced coercion and manipulation
      george orwells animal farm is not a work of fiction when it comes to your brother worker

    • 3 months ago

      Unite are calling strikes so that Red Len can demonstrate he’s a force to be reckoned with. He needs this as he’s standing down a year early and immediately standing for re-election which gives him leadership of Unite for another 5 years.

      He’s gambling giving up a year of power wins him five more and thinks he has a better chance if he rolls the dice now rather than in a year’s time.

      Unite as the biggest Union has an unholy power over the Labour party which Red Len kind of likes.

      And you still think the Unite strikes are about the people? Of course it could be and all the power play in the background is just coincidence and everyone’s motives are pure as the driven snow.

  • Andy R
    3 months ago

    Unfortunately, this takes us back to the 1970s again.

    A p*ss poor B-team conservative government faced by a rudderless opposition.

    Recipe for disaster when you consider the big negotiations coming up. To be led by the court jester Johnson, the maverick Dr Fox (who couldn’t hold down his previous ministerial job) and the whacky David Davis who resigned his own seat, only to find nobody gave a toss.

    Is it any surprise the lunatics are taking over the asylum?

    • Sam O'levski
      3 months ago

      Would you have us return to the days when a prime minister lied to the people and parliament, hid his true religious beliefs for fear of losing his job and ‘nice little earner’, so he could later go forth and become a multi millionaire on the back of lies which have helped us get into this mess ?
      When we have former alleged terrorists in power within the United Kingdom, what chance is there under the present system ?

    • GoonerGary
      3 months ago

      When we have a member of an active terrorist group working in the propaganda department hired by Comrade Corbyn himself.

      That prime minister is now trying to overthrow a democratic vote. God knows what he and corrupt Clinton colluded in for the so called ‘peace agreement’. We never got to see those weapons destroyed?

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