Tesco workers on strike just days before Christmas

Tesco and UK retailers are gearing up for their busiest time of the year (Image: Reuters)

Tesco warehouse workers and drivers will cause chaos with strikes just before Christmas.

The supermarket insists it will keep its shelves full despite the actions of unions Unite and Usdaw.

Usdaw said the dispute involved 5,000 workers at several distribution centers after they refused a 4% annual pay increase.

It follows similar action taken by Unite whose members will launch a series of warehouse strikes in the coming weeks.

Usdaw said its members voted to strike between 20 December and Christmas Eve at locations in Daventry, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Livingston, Magor in south Wales, Peterborough and Southampton.

Usdaw’s Joanne McGuinness said: ‘Retail distribution workers have been key workers providing essential services throughout the pandemic, thus delivering a 16.5% increase in profits for Tesco in the first half. year.

‘These workers deserve a well-deserved raise as their reward for what they’ve done and continue to do day in and day out.’

Meanwhile, Unite said more than 1,000 members at warehouses in Antrim, Belfast, Didcot and Doncaster would go on strike after rejecting a similar pay agreement.

Industrial action is being taken after workers rejected a 4% annual pay increase (Image: Reuters)

The union said the 4% wage increase was ‘much lower’ than the current retail price index (RPI) inflation rate of 6%.

Workers at the Didcot and Doncaster locations will go on strike for 48 hours from 6:00 a.m. on December 16, followed by a five-day shutdown from December 20. More strikes will be held in these two locations after Christmas.

Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: ‘Unite is taking strike action as a last resort when other options have been exhausted.

“Even at this late stage, Tesco was able to avoid serious disruptions in its stores by getting back to the negotiating table and offering a substantial improvement.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: ‘Our distribution colleagues have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep product in the hands of our customers.

‘The pay offer we have come up with is a fair recognition of this and is one of the highest awards made in our distribution business over the last 25 years, based on Our highly competitive compensation and rewards packages.

‘We welcome the decision of our colleagues at the venues to have voted against industrial action.

‘We are disappointed that a number of people voted to proceed and we have contingency plans in place to help mitigate any impact.

‘We have been working hard to celebrate Christmas for our clients and are confident we will be able to fulfill our plans.’

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Huynh Nguyen

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