Staff at Tesco distribution centres across England and Northern Ireland are set to strike after being offered a below-inflation pay rise.
The Unite union said that workers across the supermarket’s depots in Antrim, Belfast, Didcot and Doncaster will strike for several days in December and January after they were offered a 4% pay increase – below the October retail prices index (RPI) rate of 6.0% and the consumer prices index (CPI) rate of 4.2%.
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 always prioritises the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and it will be giving its full and total support to our members at Tesco until this dispute is resolved.”
A Tesco spokesperson 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.”
Staff at Didcot and Doncaster will strike for 48 hours beginning at 06:00 on Thursday 16 December. They will then strike for a further five days beginning on Monday 20 December; 48 hours from Thursday 30 December; and 72 hours from Wednesday 5 January 2022.
Workers at Antrim and Belfast will begin a continuous strike from 07:00 on Thursday 16 December.
A strike ballot involving staff at Tesco’s Livingston depot closes today (6 December).