‘Robin Hood’ protesters to campaign outside Birmingham NEC - here’s why

Over 350 members of Unite are employed at Arrow XL, have been involved in industrial action since October

Protesters will dress up as Robin Hood and head to Birmingham’s NEC this week to campaign against contractor Arrow XL for better pay.

Members of Unite the Union will be holding a series of protests outside of Birmingham NEC against the home delivery and warehousing specialists Arrow XL.

The protest will coincide with the Furniture Show which is being held at the NEC where Logistics Group Holding Ltd has a stand. Logistics Group Holding is the parent company of a number of delivery companies including Arrow XL and Yodel.

Over 350 members of Unite are employed at Arrow XL, have been involved in industrial action since October.

The workers are currently preparing to be re-balloted to secure a fresh mandate for strike action. Unite say many of the workers receive the minimum wage.

What has Unite said about the protests?

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Arrow XL is guilty of acting as Robin Hood in reverse: It is taking money from its poorly paid workers to give to vastly wealthy directors.

“Arrow XL needs to stop mistreating its workers and make a fair pay offer. Until Arrow XL treats its workers fairly, Unite will continue to expose its practices at every opportunity.”

Protests will be held outside the NEC in Birmingham this week

Companies that employ Arrow XL for the two person delivery service it provides include: Marks and Spencers, Amazon, Very Group, LG Electronics, Richer Sounds and Buy it Direct.

Despite the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 13.4 per cent, Unite say Arrow XL has only been prepared to offer the workers a five per cent pay increase, which is a sizable real terms pay cut.

In response, a spokeswoman for Arrow XL, said: “We have already awarded all colleagues the increase that was offered during the negotiations that equates to an average of 8.25% (range of 5% to 35.6%) and made enhancements to sick, maternity, paternity and jury service pay as we are mindful of the cost-of-living challenges our people are facing.

“The pay award has already been backdated to 01/07/22 and follows a series of increasing awards over the last few years of 3.5% in 2021 and 2.8% in 2020. Pay is due to be reviewed again this month (January 2023.)

“We are extremely disappointed to be in this situation as we believe our pay offer to be fair, particularly in the light of our significantly increased operating costs and the need to keep home delivery charges reasonable for consumers. We would like to express our utmost thanks and appreciation to all colleagues who continue to attend work as normal, we are very grateful for their ongoing support.”