A drinks giant has said it will take mitigation measures to avoid a beer drought when delivery drivers take industrial action later this month.
Beer draymen employed by GXO Logistics Drinks will strike over pay disagreements with some 1,000 individuals across 26 sites to participate.
GXO Logistics Drinks is responsible for about 40 per cent of beer deliveries to pubs and restaurants across the country, with union bosses warning of shortages.
“We are doing everything we can to get our beers and ciders to customers. In light of the proposed industrial action, we have advised customers to order extra product in advance, and are looking at alternative delivery methods over the short-term. We’re keeping our customers constantly updated,” a Heineken UK spokesperson said.
The action will include two 24 hour strikes on Tuesday August 24 and Thursday September 2, as well as an overtime ban and work to rule from August 24 to Monday November 15.
Workers were angered by GXO Logistics’ offer of a 1.4 per cent pay rise as it does not match the current RPI inflation rate of 3.9 per cent and individuals had lost on wages while furloughed.
Unite national officer for the drinks industry Joe Clarke said the industrial action represented a “threat of a late summer beer drought” for British pub goers.
“This disruption would be on top of the ‘pingdemic’ and the well-publicised HGV driver shortages that are already hitting the sector.
“Now industrial action looms for late August, we call, once again, for the company to engage in meaningful negotiations regarding a decent pay increase for our members.”
A GXO spokesperson said: “We favour dialogue in all our negotiations. Discussions are ongoing in order to reach agreement, in particular for the hospitality sector that is only now emerging from the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.”