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Tesco distribution workers to strike in run-up to Christmas

Warehouse workers and drivers employed by supermarket giant Tesco are to stage a series of strikes in the coming weeks in a dispute over pay. The… View Article

GROCERY

Tesco distribution workers to strike in run-up to Christmas

Warehouse workers and drivers employed by supermarket giant Tesco are to stage a series of strikes in the coming weeks in a dispute over pay.

The union said the company had offered a 4% pay rise, describing it as “well below” the current retail price index (RPI) inflation rate of 6%.

The current consumer prices index (CPI) is 4.2%.

Unite said more than 1,200 of its members at depots in Antrim, Belfast, Didcot and Doncaster, will take industrial action.

Workers at the Didcot and Doncaster sites will strike for 48 hours from 6am on December 16, followed by a further five-day stoppage from December 20.

Unite members at the Antrim and Belfast Tesco distribution centres will also launch an all-out, continuous strike from 7am on December 16.

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.”

Unite warned strikes could result in shortages of some goods, amid the supply chain challenges already rocking the food and drink sector.

A Tesco spokesperson added: “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.

“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.”

The supermarket has said it will be able to mitigate any disruption and reassured shoppers their Christmas shopping plans will not be scuppered.

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