23 December 2021
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT said that members employed by DHL to provide vital catering services for the Avanti West Coast are solidly supporting the second day of the current strike in their fight for pay justice.
This core group of staff are standing firm in their battle as analysis by RMT reveals that the companies’ parent Groups paid out nearly £2 billion in the last year to shareholders – fuelling anger at the hypocrisy from the board room as the low paid employees who generate those profits get shafted.
RMT’s analysis reveals that:
• In May 2021, DHL’s parent company Deutsche Post AG paid out €1.6 billion (around £1.4 billion) in dividends to shareholders, an increase of 17% from the year previous.
• In September 2021, Avanti West Coast’s parent company First Group PLC confirmed it would return £500 million to shareholders.
• The latest accounts for the UK registered DHL Supply Chain Ltd reveal that over £2.7 million was paid to company directors in one year, with the highest paid director receiving an eyewatering £476,000, a rise of nearly 8% from the year previous.
Despite this pandemic profiteering, DHL’s frontline workers on the Avanti West Coast continue to be denied pay justice and voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action and are out in force on the picket lines this morning.
General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“RMT members working for DHL on the Avanti West Coast contract are rock solid in their industrial action again this morning as they stand up for the basic principle of pay justice. They are a credit to the union.
“With inflation rocketing and national insurance set to increase, these frontline workers are facing a cost-of-living crisis but it’s another story for the Scrooge bosses who, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, have still paid out eyewatering sums in dividends and director pay, whilst treating the workers who generate their profits with complete contempt.
“Rather than continuing to line the pockets of shareholders and directors, RMT is demanding a fair pay award for these workers that recognises their vital contribution to our rail services and the soaring cost of living. The union remains available for talks.”
Notes for editors
• Details of the Deutsche Post AG dividend are available here - https://www.dpdhl.com/en/investors/shares/dividend.html
• First Group’s announcement is available here - https://otp.tools.investis.com/clients/uk/first_group/rns/regulatory-story.aspx?cid=858&newsid=1508071
• The latest accounts for DHL Supply Chain Ltd are for the year to December 2020 and are available at companies house - https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/00528867/filing-history
• RMT members employed by DHL on the Avanti West Coast contract are taking industrial action from 22:00 hours on Tuesday 21st December 2021 through to 21:59 hours on Thursday 23rd December 2021.