Unite said deliveries of Fosters, Heineken, Kronenbourg, John Smith’s, Strongbow, plus Britvic soft drinks will be affected by the strike. There will also be a continuous ban on overtime and a work-to-rule.
Unite warned that it could “step up action, unless the company works with the union to resolve the dispute”. The union said the issue at the centre of the dispute is the way the company has breached the ‘National Ways Agreement’, which governs the terms and conditions of the workforce.
Workers earlier voted by 85% in favour of strike action on a turnout of 64% and talks on possible action took place between KNDL and Unite last week.
The depots affected include: Aberdeen; Bathgate (West Lothian); Birmingham; Bristol; Chandlers Ford (Hampshire); Carlisle; Croydon; Dagenham; Devizes (Wiltshire); Dundee; Faversham (Kent); Greenford (Middlesex); Inverness; Liverpool; Manchester; Newark (Nottinghamshire); Northampton; Norwich; Plymouth; Preston; Reading; Stockton-on-Tees (Cleveland); Swansea; Wakefield; Warrington; Washington (Tyne and Wear); and Welwyn Garden City.
KNDL has named a number of major pub operators that it said would be affected by the strike. However, Enterprise Inns, which is among the companies named, earlier said it had been contingency planning for many weeks and did not anticipate any disruption. “We have very good contingency plans in place which will be enacted if required,” said a spokesman for the pub company.
Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy said: “KNDL’s refusal to take our concerns seriously mean there will be significant disruption to the supply of beer right across the country.
“We have tried to negotiate with the company but it has stubbornly refused to solve this dispute.
“Our members are proud of their jobs and they know that the present system for delivering beer works and customers are happy.
“The changes being pushed through will not work. They will eventually lead to job losses and will cause enormous problems with deliveries to customers. For drinkers up and down the country, it could even affect the quality of cask conditioned beer. We urge KNDL management to return to the negotiating table.”