London workers face going thirsty over Christmas as pub delivery firm mulls festive shutdown

Oliver Gill
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Christmas Party Season Begins In The UK
Unite said deliver staff were working to a 15-hour day (Source: Getty)

As if the prospect of a Royal Mail Christmas delivery shutdown was not enough?

Now London's pubs are facing the prospect of their taps running dry as Britain's biggest union mulls plans to halt deliveries of the nation's best-loved beers.

Unite says Deutsche Post-owned DHL, which took on the pivotal contract of delivering Carlsberg's products across the capital earlier this month, is forcing drivers to work in "appalling" conditions.

A lack of organisation at the depot has meant that many workers are working up to a 15-hour day, the union added.

Alongside Carlsberg, other brands that could be left undelivered include Brains, Coors, Greene King, and Mitchell and Butler.

“We have had talks with senior management at DHL Tradeteam, but they are deaf to our legitimate concerns," said Unite regional officer Paul Travers.

We are putting down a strong marker that deliveries in the run-up to the Christmas period will be drastically affected across London and the south-east – there will be a lot of unhappy thirsty customers at pubs, clubs and restaurants.

DHL has not responded to a request for comment.

Read more: UK Mail's share price rockets on news of Deutsche Post swoop

Yesterday, hopes were raised that Christmas industrial action by Royal Mail could be averted after boss Moya Greene stepped in to hold direct talks with the bosses of the group's main union, the Communication Workers Union.

UK Mail, one of Royal Mail's biggest rivals in Britain, was bought by DHL earlier this year for more than £240m.

Meanwhile, Unite said that before balloting members it would give DHL one last chance to avert the prospect of many Londoners going thirsty over the festive period.

“Before the industrial action ballot process starts, the management has a window of opportunity to sit down and hold constructive talks with Unite to reach a fair settlement with realistic expectations of what our members can achieve during the working day," said Travers.

Read more: Moya to the rescue: Royal Mail boss intervenes to avert Christmas strikes

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