Biscuit lovers warned over Wagon Wheels and Jammie Dodgers shortage over Christmas

DHL Supply Chain employees, who deliver Burton’s Biscuits and AB World Food Goods, voted yesterday for a strike over pay and dismissals. The strike could see a shortage in various food items.

The strike is to take place between December 19 and December 24, and between December 29 and January 5.

They will take place at DHL’s delivery centre in Liverpool.

Around 120 members of Unite the Union are employed as warehouse operators and delivery drivers by DHL.

Unite officer Kenny Rowe said: “The wheels are falling off DHL’s operation in Liverpool.

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“Members are simply not prepared to accept poverty pay rates and workers being suspended or sacked on spurious charges, due to management victimisation, any longer.

“This is an incredibly profitable contract and the workers have kept it rolling along continuously through two lockdowns and they have now said enough is enough. DHL has got to stop dodging its responsibility to pay a decent rate.”

Kenny explained the strike could mean customer’s can’t get hold of their favourite biscuits this year.

The officer added: “Given the just in time nature of supermarket operations, this strike action will quickly result in Wagon Wheels, Jammie Dodgers, Patak sauces and Blue Dragon products disappearing from shelves.

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“While customers will be disappointed that they will be unable to buy their normal products it is hoped that they understand that workers must be treated decently at work and receive a fair rate of pay.

“Even at this late stage DHL can avoid this widespread disruption by making a decent pay offer and reverse the dismissal of workers, while ending the victimisation and ill-treatment of the workforce.”

Burton’s Biscuits also has brands like Marmite, Cathedral City and Paterson’s under its name.

Other items expected to be missing from shelves include Patak’s curry pastes and Blue Dragon Thai ingredients. 

However a spokesperson for Burton’s Biscuits said that he had “every confidence” that these biscuits would be in “plentiful supply”.

He added: “We hope that agreement can be reached between DHL and Unite, but we can share some Christmas cheer and confirm that supermarkets and other retail outlets have adequate supplies of much-loved Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels.

“We do not envisage any shortages over Christmas.”

Unite said it wants all workers to be paid at least 50p above the minimum wage.

A statement explained: “Despite the company being extremely profitable and this contract being especially lucrative, the pay offer currently on the table will result in warehouse operatives being paid just two and half pence above the national minimum wage when the rate is increased to £8.91 in April 2021.”

In other food news, Morrisons recently launched its new Christmas dinner delivery service.

The new festive Christmas Dinner for Two Box is to help ensure that self-isolating customers or those who cannot get to a supermarket get everything they need for a Christmas dinner.

The box includes everything you need to make a Christmas dinner including potatoes, turkey, vegetables and even puddings.

Puddings include mince pies, Christmas puddings and are accompanied by white wine and custard.

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