Source: Iceland

The pay deal averts further disruption to Iceland stores in the south west of England

GXO has reached a pay deal with Unite to end the prospect of further strikes at its Iceland warehouse facilities in Swindon.

In two separate strikes before and over Christmas, 144 workers at the two facilities – which serve ambient, frozen and chilled goods to Iceland and Food Warehouse stores across the south west of England – walked out over a months-long dispute over pay with parent company GXO. Iceland had maintained that stores were unaffected, but the prospect of further strike action remained if a deal was not struck.

The new deal represented a “hugely improved” offer from GXO, Unite said.

Employees will receive a 6% basic pay rise and rises in overtime and ‘unsocial’ pay backdated to 1 March 2023. Alongside that, they are also set to receive a further 5.3% increase in basic pay, overtime and unsocial shift pay backdated to 1 January 2024. Unite said the backdated pay would be paid at “the earliest opportunity”.

The pay rise comes alongside a separate increase in incentives for workers who work in the respective sections of the warehouses. Workers will also receive a higher rate if they are willing to work flexibly between the frozen, chilled and ambient areas, Unite said.

“This is a great win for GXO’s workers and for Unite,” said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham. “It shows the power of the trade union movement and the strength of Unite’s bargaining. I congratulate all our members at GXO on the grit and determination in their fight for better pay.”

GXO manages five logistics sites on behalf of Iceland, alongside its operations for other major grocers including Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. Iceland was the only retailer affected by the dispute, which only affected the two sites in Swindon.

A spokesman for GXO said: “We are pleased that Unite members have accepted the baseline pay offer we put forward in December 2023, alongside a change in the way the proposed incentive payment will be paid to colleagues working in the cold store, chill and ambient sections”.

Iceland declined to comment. 

“Our members stood together and have won a well-deserved pay award,” said Unite regional officer Paddy Brennan said. “Unite always stands up for its members and we continue to win improved pay offers across the country.”