STAFF at the Wilko distribution centre in Magor will strike for an additional two days this month, the GMB trade union has announced.

The union is stepping up strike action over Wilko's new rotas, which include compulsory weekend shifts, and had already announced around 2,000 staff members in Magor and another centre in Worksop would go on strike on Friday, October 11 and Monday, October 14.

And now it has announced two further days of action - on Monday, October 21 and the following day.


The GMB said 84 per cent of its members had voted in favour of strike action because the new rotas would leave them with less time to spend with their families.

A Wilko spokesman said "robust plans" were in place to allow customers to shop as normal.

“We’re the last of the major retailers to introduce regular weekend working in our distribution centres as a result of customer demand for seven days a week shopping," he said.

“We want to support our team members in responding to the 24/7 reality of retailing today while also helping them to spend as much time as possible with their families."

But the GMB argued the new rotas had damaged employees' perceptions of Wilko.

“These brutal rotas just won’t work, and seven-day deliveries have not improved availability in store," Gary Carter, GMB national officer, said. "Wilko has struggled with stock, transport and there aren’t enough employees in store to get goods on the shelves.

“At weekends, warehouse workers have been asked to go home and there has not been enough work, so they’ve been put on cleaning duties on Saturdays and Sundays.

“Workers are also choosing to leave Wilko, a company they’ve previously been proud to work for. The new rotas have changed people’s view of the company which is heartbreaking."

Wilko management had offered to change the rotas in January after the peak period, guaranteeing employees two-out-of-three weekends off, but the GMB had dismissed this offer as "not good enough".

“Wilko needs to change the rotas and rebuild its relationship with the workforce," Mr Carter said. "Morale is at an all-time low and if the business wants to be successful it needs to value its employees and understand they need a better work-life balance.”

Wilko said it didn't believe "industrial action is in anyone’s best interests at this challenging time for the high street and retail in general" and encouraged the GMB to call off the strike.