Aug 122017

Reblogged from UNITE LIVE

If you are appalled at the treatment of the Co-op disabled employees, you can tell them on Twitter at @coopuk

HGV drivers employed by the Co-op at its West Thurrock distribution depot have begun balloting for industrial action over the ‘appalling treatment’ of their disabled colleagues.

The workers, who are members of Unite and who deliver to 600 Co-op stores in London and the south east, are extremely angry that three of their colleagues have been dismissed or are facing dismissal due to their disabilities.

The disabled drivers have for many years been provided with work they have been able to undertake. However this work is no longer available because of outsourcing or internal reorganisation.

Unite has argued that the workers should have been made redundant. The local Co-op management rejected this approach and instead opted to use a capability process which resulted in two of the workers being sacked and the third expecting the same treatment in the near future.

“The Co-op has acted in an appalling manner,” said Unite regional officer Paul Travers. “We have argued that the disabled drivers should have been made redundant because their revised duties were agreed under the Equalities Act as reasonable adjustments. The company knows the drivers are unable to deliver to stores and has been happy for them to undertake other driving roles, when it suited it and now it just wants to discard them.”

Unite are initially undertaking a consultative ballot of the workforce before proceeding to a full industrial action ballot. If the matter is not resolved then Unite anticipates that industrial action will occur in the weeks preceding Halloween and Bonfire night, which will cause widespread disruption. It could also cause problems in the pre-Christmas period.

Paul Travers added, “Unite remain available to resolve this matter; however the Co-op just keep telling us they have acted lawfully — a point that Unite and our members fundamentally disagree with.”


[suffusion-the-author display='description']
 Posted by at 13:59

  6 Responses to “Appalling treatment of disabled employees by The Co-op”

  1. I work for the co op and am disgusted
    As far as I am aware one of the sacked drivers has a terminal illness and I do not think that this company should be displaying themselves as a caring employer
    I suppose now that I have posted I will be contacted by management for bringing them into disrepute
    This is believe me one of their tactics

    J m

  2. Private comment for Linda. Has that disabled prisoner received any help? I sent the article via e mail. If not please contact Langley House Trust, available on the internet and ask to speak to Tracy Wilde or Stella Wint and see what they can do.


  3. I am a unite member and USED to shop at the Coop, never again and I wil be letting them know

    This is a widely used tactic , probably because they don’t want to make reasonable adjustments in the work place , maybe if dpac members all withdraw our custom they might just listen

    All the best , Andrew.

  4. Redundancy = ‘the state of being not or no longer needed or useful’. Disgraceful behaviour by the Co-op – they should be ashamed of themselves! I also agree with the above statement by Linda – that is if they actually want to continue working for a company that treats them so shabbily!

  5. It makes a complete mockery of the Disability discrimination act,
    The human rights act, the wca, pip and everything this Tory scum are saying they will do for the disabled. Removing their benefit, because they say it is an incentive for them to work. When at a whim companies like the co-op can sack disabled workers because they really just can. Pure Bastards. Where is the Disability and Human rights commission? Doing nothing as usual. It is a dog without teeth. All it does is bark. This should have been a priority for them; instead they sit back and do absolutely nothing. I agree that the union should be fighting for these disabled workers jobs maybe that are more difficult or impossible. It seems the law is helpless to give these workers any rights whatsoever. So really the disabled are being shafted from all sides. When these drivers go for a wca. They will be found fit for work. Yet no company will employ them this is really and truly what companies are capable of doing to disabled employees and potential ones as well. Absolutely sickening, disgusting and nothing short of evil. At least the unions are supporting these disabled people and rightly too. What disgusts me even more is the co-op themselves which is supposed to be a company with social ties going back for decades. Thosed social connections seem unimportant when it comes to sacking disabled employees and not even giving them their redundancy payments. A double whammy to these workers who have given their lives to this company. The Co-op were aware of this situation before they outfourced and reorganised. They say they are acting within the law. They probably are because the law is an ass. If the Co-op are allowed to get away with this. It will set a precident for the entire uk.

  6. and just to add UNITE should be arguing for their redeployment not their redundancies

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