The Unite union is planning a ballot of drivers in an overtime dispute with Marshalls. The drivers receive time and a third for overtime worked, while manufacturing employees get time and a half.
The drivers are responsible for delivering Marshalls’ products from 14 manufacturing sites across the UK to customers such as Travis Perkins’ 1,900 outlets, and Jewson’s 600 branches.
Unite national officer for building trades John Allott said: “We are preparing to hold an industrial action ballot on the inequality in overtime rates between the drivers and the manufacturing workforce.”
He warned that if the strike went ahead, there would be “a big ripple effect” on customers.
Marshalls chief executive Martin Coffey received an 87% increase in his remuneration package last year, taking it to more than £2m a year. “We are calling for fairness on this issue, especially given the massive hike in Martin Coffey’s executive pay,” Mr Allot said.
However, Marshalls group HR director Susie Fehr said: "Marshalls has for many years enjoyed a collaborative and supportive relationship with Unite, as the principle union represented within the business. Late last year during the annual pay negotiation
there was discussion regarding a number of other issues including this specific issue of overtime. Unite decided to take this issue off the table on the basis that it pertained to a limited group of employees. The result of the annual pay negotiation was that an increase of 2.5% was agreed. The company remains committed to finding an appropriate internal solution and most recently communicated with the impacted employees on 11th April and are looking forward to the ongoing dialogue.
"Marshalls is therefore disappointed that the Union has decided to pre-empt these discussions and has not raised this as a formal dispute."