On the Picket Line

DHL Liverpool workers use union power to win raise

By Anne Howie
March 8, 2021

LIVERPOOL, England — After 10 days of strikes since mid-December, 120 drivers and warehouse workers at DHL’s Croxteth depot here ended their current round of action Feb. 8, winning a pay raise.

The striking workers, members of the Unite union, were flagging down trucks arriving at the warehouse to persuade other drivers not to cross their picket line when this reporter visited them Feb. 2. One driver parked his vehicle and joined the picket line for a while, discussing with the workers how he could win support for their fight at his workplace.

Workers won a 3% pay raise, backdated to April 2020, and a further 3% for 2021, along with a 75 pound ($105) one-time payment.

The union “will not allow its members to be mistreated and will consider all avenues to protect them, including fresh industrial action,” Unite regional officer Kenny Rowe told the media as the union announced its settlement with the company Feb. 8.

Peter Clifford, Communist League candidate for Greater Manchester mayor, visited the warehouse workers picket line on several occasions to show his support for their fight. He told workers their action set an example for others. “Workers not only won some gains but go back more able to use your union to stand up to the bosses,” he said.