As explored in a Big Ask earlier this year, dealers in the office products industry generally offer next day delivery in order to keep customers content – however, the GMB Union has stated that next-day delivery could become a thing of the past post-Brexit, due to labour shortages in warehouses.
EU nationals make up more than 20% of the workforce in 18 industries, exclusive official figures show. Not only that, but a third of warehousing and storage workers are EU nationals, new data produced by the ONS in response to a GMB Union request have revealed.
GMB warned 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 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.”
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