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20 December 2012
Mean-spirited Argos bosses in Bridgwater, Somerset have scrapped the two bottles of Christmas wine for staff in retaliation for workers taking action in a work-life balance dispute.
Tight-fisted managers have stopped the traditional seasonal gift to employees at the Argos distribution centre, after workers voted to take three-days of strike action following the imposition of new shift patterns without consultation.
Now the 200 workers - members of Unite, the country's largest union – will hold three one-day strikes at the Bridgwater retail park distribution centre on Sunday (23 December), Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.
Unite regional officer, Dorothy Fogg said: “The strikes are in protest at the newly imposed shift patterns, which were radically changed with little or no consultation with staff.
“Many staff members have had to reduce their working hours, so that they can care for their children or family members, because Argos would no longer accommodate their flexible working requests. In some cases, these arrangements had been previously agreed and now they have been stopped.”
Unite blames the hardline attitude on the general manager who is moving on in the New Year to a new posting within Argos.
Dorothy Fogg said: “Our members are taking legitimate industrial action to achieve a proper work-life balance. Once the warehouse's senior management at Bridgwater heard about the strikes, they scrapped the traditional bottles of wine for each employee.
“This had been increased to two bottles last year in return for staff reducing their Christmas lunch from 45 minutes to the normal 30 minutes.
“I think many people in Somerset will agree that you would have to search far-and-wide to find a meaner more tight-fisted management, intent on clawing back the bottles of wine from a hard working and dedicated workforce.
“The spirit of Scrooge is alive and well in the West Country.
“We urge the management to get back around the table to negotiate a fair shift pattern for staff to give them a proper work-life balance.”