Delivery drivers and warehouse staff at a Leeds brewery depot could be asked to vote on strike action in the run up to Christmas in a dispute over pay and conditions, according to the GMB union.
The union represents DHL workers, who deal with deliveries from Carlsberg’s depot in the city.
It is calling for the logistics firm to address what it claims are “draconian” working conditions and “excessive workloads” on lorry drivers, dray and warehouse staff.
GMB said that a new contract imposed by DHL on workers has seen “major” changes to working hours and pay “in what amounts to a clear breach of previously agreed terms”.
The union claims that the conditions are having a “huge impact” on the health, safety and welfare of its members.
GMB said it would hold talks with DHL managers in Leeds this week and that other depots were holding similar talks.
It warned that if DHL does not heed its concerns, the union will consult its members with an expected mandate for a ballot on industrial action.
Ben Kirkham, GMB organiser, said: “The safety of our members is something that cannot be ignored. It is paramount that DHL have a duty of care to our members who cannot continue to work under this pressure.”
Carlsberg UK outsourced its secondary logistics operations to drinks distribution provider DHL Trade Team earlier this year.
A spokesperson for Carlsberg UK said: “Any speculation around potential industrial action led by Unite involving DHL Trade Team staff is a matter for DHL Trade Team. We will be working closely with DHL Trade Team to ensure service to our customers is uninterrupted.”
DHL failed to provide a comment prior to publication.