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Barbour Faces a Warehouse Strike Over New Contracts

Barbour, the British outwear label sold at luxury retailers such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis, could be in short supply over the coming weeks because of a four-week strike. The company and Britain’s largest union, Unite, are in a dispute over changes to working hours.

The union said about half of the 135 warehouse employees were ready to walk out in protest against new contracts that would schedule them to work until 11 p.m.——a move Unite called “anti-family.”

The new contract would also remove payment for unsocial hours. Workers were told they would have to sign the new deal by Jan. 30, or face unemployment.

The impending walkout would follow a one-week strike, which took place just before Christmas.

Unite regional officer Fazia Hussain-Brown said, “Barbour’s sign or be sacked ultimatum is bullying and anti-family. Many of the workers struggling to get by on less than the living wage are the sole bread winner and have family or caring responsibilities.”

Hussain-Brown added, “The company should not underestimate the resolve of the workforce nor the impact that four weeks of strike action will have on supplies.”

Barbour has not commented on Unite’s warning, however, the BBC said the company previously stated it was offering a “substantial pay increase” to compensate staff for the proposed changes.