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Next Day Deliveries Could End Post Brexit

Sunday, September 9, 2018

NEXT DAY DELIVERIES COULD ‘BECOME THING OF THE PAST’ DUE TO WAREHOUSE LABOUR SHORTAGES AFTER BREXIT, WARNS UNION

EU nationals make up more than 20% of the workforce in 18 industries, exclusive official figures show

A third of warehousing and storage workers are EU nationals, new figures produced by the ONS in response to a GMB Union request have revealed.

GMB, which organises tens of thousands of workers in the sector, warned today that next-day-deliveries could become a thing of the past unless employers improve wages and conditions after Brexit.

In the economy as a whole, EU nationals’ share of the workforce rose to 7.6% in 2017, up from 7.2% the year before.

The two industries with the highest reliance on EU labour were the processing of fish and meat (EU nationals made up 57% and 45% of the workforce respectively).

EU nationals make up more than 20% of the workforce in 18 industries, and more than 10% of the workforce in 65 industries. [See note 1 for full table]

The findings will spark fears for the future of some industries if there is not certainty over the status of current EU workers and a clear plan for meeting the UK’s labour shortfalls after Brexit.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

“As Brexit approaches it is becoming increasingly clear that many of the comforts we take for granted, such as next-day-deliveries, could become a thing of a past.

“Too many warehousing operations in the UK have been built on the exploitation of both EU and UK nationals, and it is clear that a low wage, insecure economy is a big contributing factor as to why we're leaving the EU in the first place.

"There is an obvious irony that business models which created the frustration that led to Brexit, will be the ones hit hardest by their own shortsighted pursuit of profit.

“Without a plan to improve the quality of employment in many of the impacted sectors, and a proper deal in place, how this sector will continue to function is anyone's guess.

“We need a proper plan of action and we need it now.”

Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to Editors

[1]

Workforce demographics of 3-digit industry codes, 2017

 

UK-nationals

EU-nationals

Non-EU

Total workforce

EU share

Non-UK (EU+non-EU)

Proc fish, crustaceans & molluscs

5,755

7,768

-

13,523

57.4%

57.4%

Processing of meat products

27,672

28,355

6,040

62,067

45.7%

55.4%

Manufacture of tobacco products

1,612

979

-

2,591

37.8%

37.8%

Warehousing and storage

100,367

57,046

14,683

172,096

33.1%

41.7%

Growing of non-perennial crops

16,568

7,637

-

24,205

31.6%

31.6%

Manufacture of refractory products

2,925

1,346

-

4,271

31.5%

31.5%

Materials recovery

18,103

9,025

2,178

29,306

30.8%

38.2%

Proc & preserving of fruit & veg

17,124

8,811

2,807

28,742

30.7%

40.4%

Manuf of transport equipment n.e.c.

4,359

1,772

-

6,131

28.9%

28.9%

Translation & interpretation actv

12,251

6,571

5,328

24,150

27.2%

49.3%

Manu of bakery & farinaceous prods

35,619

16,129

8,150

59,898

26.9%

40.5%

Manufacture of other food products

62,219

25,507

15,860

103,586

24.6%

39.9%

Domestic personnel

35,780

13,894

7,061

56,735

24.5%

36.9%

Manufacture of dairy products

15,639

5,398

1,634

22,671

23.8%

31.0%

Trusts, funds & sim financial ents

27,715

11,744

10,108

49,567

23.7%

44.1%

Hotels and similar accommodation

180,445

65,261

33,517

279,223

23.4%

35.4%

Manuf opt instruments & photo eqmt

6,682

1,917

-

8,599

22.3%

22.3%

Wsale agric raw mat & live animals

10,363

2,592

-

12,955

20.0%

20.0%

Cleaning activities

267,397

79,863

54,871

402,131

19.9%

33.5%

GMB analysis of ONS user requested data, One and three digit industry data, UK, 2017, https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/adhocs/008878oneandthreedigitindustrydatauk2017

This data was requested by the GMB.

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