Tesco strike threat to food supplies in Christmas run-up as warehouse workers and drivers are set to cause chaos
More than 1,000 workers are planning walkouts in a pay dispute, heaping further pressure on the supply chain where Tesco bosses have previously warned of reduced choice on supermarket shelves due to driver shortages.
The Unite union said the company offer of a four per cent pay rise is ‘well below’ the rate of inflation – currently 6 per cent according to the retail price index.
Tesco said the offer was ‘one of the highest awards made within our distribution business in the last 25 years’.
The Unite union said the company offer of a four per cent pay rise is ‘well below’ the rate of inflation – currently 6 per cent according to the retail price index
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Our members have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep Tesco’s shelves filled throughout the pandemic.
‘At the very least the UK’s largest and wealthiest retailer should be making our members a decent pay offer.’
Workers at depots in Didcot and Doncaster will strike for 48 hours from 6am on December 16, with a five-day stoppage from December 20.
Unite members at Tesco’s Antrim and Belfast distribution centres will launch an all-out, continuous strike from 7am on December 16.
The union announced that a strike ballot result of its members at Tesco’s distribution centre in Livingston, Scotland, will be known today.
More than 1,000 workers are planning walkouts in a pay dispute, heaping further pressure on the supply chain
If workers vote for industrial action they will be likely to join the strike action before Christmas, said the union.
Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: ‘Unite is taking strike action as a last resort having exhausted all other options.
‘Even at this late stage Tesco could still avoid severe disruption in its stores by returning to the negotiating table and making a greatly improved offer.’
Tesco said: ‘Our distribution colleagues have worked tirelessly through the pandemic in order to keep products moving for customers.
‘The pay offer we have made is a fair recognition of this, and is one of the highest awards made within our distribution business in the last 25 years, building on our highly competitive pay and rewards package.
‘We welcome the decision by our colleagues at the sites who have voted against industrial action.
‘We are disappointed that some have voted to proceed, and we have contingency plans in place to help mitigate any impacts.
‘We have worked hard to deliver Christmas for our customers and are confident we will be able to fulfil our plans.’