Workers at Bedford medical warehouse set to strike in the new year

Workers dealing with specialised medical devices and medication want Unite recognition
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Workers at Movianto – a specialised medical warehousing company – are to strike over claims bosses refused to recognise Unite for collective bargaining purposes.

Over 50 workers, who are Unite members, have been campaigning for their union to be officially recognised but say Movianto have strongly resisted such a move – a claim the company denies.

Movianto, based in Progress Park, Bedford, is a storage warehouse and distribution centre for medical equipment and medication. Unite’s members include pickers and fork-lift truck drivers.

Movianto, based in Progress Park, BedfordMovianto, based in Progress Park, Bedford
Movianto, based in Progress Park, Bedford

Strike action – which was backed nearly 80% of members – is likely to cause significant disruption to the medical centres Movianto supply.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members want formal recognition for their union and it is reprehensible that Movianto is sticking its fingers in its ears over this issue.

“Unite does what it says on the trade union tin – we fight for the jobs, pay and conditions of our members and the workers at Movianto have the full support of their union in this fight for trade union representation.”

Unite regional officer Richard Gates added: “Our members are being forced to head to the picket line as Movianto refuses to seriously engage with Unite over formal recognition. This is something our members clearly want, as shown by the overwhelming ballot result.”

Dates for the strike action – earmarked for the new year – will be announced in due course.

A statement from the Movianto president said: “Firstly, we want to emphasise that our dedicated team members are the backbone of Movianto, working diligently to ensure the consistent delivery of exceptional service to our valued clients and customers. Our commitment to maintaining the highest quality standards remains unwavering.

“Unite Union sought recognition from Movianto and set a deadline until December 15 for a response. Contrary to the information presented in their press release, Movianto has not formally rejected this request at the time of this response. Our primary focus has always been, and continues to be, the well-being and longevity of our team members, ensuring their security and contributing to the success of our business.

“A recent ballot was conducted among a part only of Movianto employees regarding the potential strike action concerning Unite's recognition.

“At Movianto, we are dedicated to fostering an environment where our team members have a voice and feel heard on matters that affect them. To this end, we have engaged directly with our teammates, communicating the improvements we've implemented and outlining our plans for the year 2024.

“We remain committed to open dialogue and constructive engagement to address any concerns and uphold a positive working relationship with our valued team members.”

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