Clarks dispute Over

Somerset Labour has declared victory at the end of the dispute at Clarks, the Street based shoemaker.

An agreement has been reached between the trade union Community and the company. That brings an end to two months of industrial action. Workers at the Street distribution centre went out on strike since 4th October. The dispute was over the use of ‘Fire and Rehire’  tactics brought in by Hong Kong based LionRock Capital. Lion Rock took over Clarks earlier this year. Trades unionists, Labour Party members and the wider community rallied around the striking workers.

The Community Union mounted a constant picket outside the distribution centre. Last month a major march through the streets of Street took place as the dispute escalated. Finally both sides agreed to use the arbitration service Acas.

A joint statement was released by the Union and the company:

Community and Clarks announce that following a process of mediation with Acas, an agreement has been reached in respect of the industrial dispute at the Clarks Westway Distribution Centre.

We are pleased that a resolution has been reached that works in everybody’s interests, protects Community members’ livelihoods, and recognises their loyalty to Clarks.

Following an indicative ballot of Community members it is confirmed that normal working has now resumed.

Community and Clarks express their thanks to Acas for its support and look forward to close co-operation as we move on from the dispute and commit to positive industrial relations in the future.

One comment

  • Let’s see what the Chinese owners do in the long run. Hope it is a positive outcome. But also hope locals will notice how successful the new Vietnamese nail bar is in Shepton – through sheer hard work. Completely booked and buzzing til 6 today – while all the locally run shops are closed & dead just before Xmas. So sad. It really is time to level up. Bring in entrepreneurial refugees!

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