One worker told the socialist: “We went today for the ridiculous attack on our policy of presence, but it could have been for a whole series of things of which we had a whole series of things. But this strike is a good start. USDAW is the recognized union at Sainsbury`s` huge distribution centre in Sherburn-in Elmet, Leeds. They were voluntarily recognized almost five years ago when the site opened. In return for the recognition, the USDAW agreed to disable the 10-hour night shift limit for road drivers, which led truck drivers to work too long at night. USDAW also signed the right to strike for all Workers in Sherburn. One thing that facilitated the strike by Tesco employees in this distribution centre than in other outlets is that we are not part of the Tesco-USDAW partnership agreement signed by USDAW with Tesco in 1997. This page is considered “stand-alone” workplace Tesco. This means that the decision to take action did not have to go through the same bureaucratic channels that exist elsewhere to take strike action. Dozens of members of the Usdaw Store Workers` Union have chosen Sainsburys Waltham Point distribution centre in Essex for most of their 24-hour strike against disease policy changes. Employees of the Essex `Big Four` Food Centre will take part in a second round of 24-hour strikes on Thursday 25 July 2019, according to the Usdaw union.
The agreement, which encompasses the entire retail sector within Tesco, was signed under the main reason that the union would be able to recruit more members in collaboration with the company. In reality, the agreement is an obstacle to action and calls into question USDAW`s independence from the company. The main reason Tesco proposed this agreement was to stop union activities. So far, it has succeeded in completely halting labour disputes. Tesco has accumulated a lot of money to break the effectiveness of these trade union actions. They sent leaflets to the workers to prevent them from participating, and they put double-decker buses to bring in strike breakers. It was good to see how empty these buses were; Most of the time, there was no one on board. This is the second time a 24-hour strike will take place in the centre after more than 100 workers worked on 27 June.
It is not certain that a similar figure will be present this time. And while it is organized beyond retail, the most important supermarkets are at the heart of Usdaw`s membership. Indeed, it is essentially based on four collective agreements with major supermarket chains, which account for two-thirds of Usdaw`s total membership: the Co-op (40,000 members), Morrisons (46,000), Sainsbury`s (32,000) and the jewel in the union crown, Tesco, where the union has 170,000 members and the largest BRITISH collective agreement for the private sector. The distribution centre stores a significant proportion of the daily stocks delivered to supermarkets in east London and the south-east. Before the strike, most of the stock had to be transferred to nearby distribution centres to be put in cages that can be delivered to supermarkets.