Some British DS Smith Packaging sites might be affected by industrial action as early as at the end of the month.
According to the union GMB, almost 93 per cent of members employed by DS Smith voted in favour of strike action. Workers at five sites – Louth, Linconshire; Featherstone, Yorkshire; Clay Cross, Derbyshire; Devizes, Wiltshire and Livingston, Scotland – could take part in the strike, as early as the end of the month, GMB said. The sites mainly produce corrugated boxes.
DS Smith has offered employees a 3 per cent consolidated increase plus a non-consolidated payment of £760 for 2022-23 which, with inflation at 12.3 per cent, “represents a massive real terms pay cut for members who worked throughout the pandemic,” according to the union. “It turns out that the company was hugely profitable during the pandemic, now they need the company to step up and help them through the cost of living crisis,” said GMB.
According to the union, the strikes could, among other things, lead to packaging supply bottlenecks at Amazon on “Black Friday”, the last Friday in November. The online retailer is a major customer of DS Smith.