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Workers who are members of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) voted to reject a pay offer from Tesco and will soon vote again on industrial action.
Depending on the outcome of the ballot, employees could be on strike as soon as Monday, December 20, which raises questions about how the shop will cope over the festive period.
A nightshift worker at Tesco’s Livingston warehouse said he was prepared to strike over the poor pay this Christmas and he knows many of his colleagues across the UK feel the same way.
Nine other centres across the UK in Daventry, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Peterborough and Southhampton could also strike alongside Livingston.
A spokesperson from Usdaw have confirmed that Tesco heads have been given notice that the proposed pay package and a vote about industrial action is imminent.
The union representative said: “We have given notice to Tesco that distribution members are to be balloted on industrial action after they rejected the company’s pay offer. The dispute involves nine Tesco distribution sites and the ballots will run between November 22 to December 6.”
A strike could see staff refuse to work over the festive period, which is the busiest time of the year for most supermarkets.
While Tesco and Usdaw have not confirmed the pay offer which has been rejected a worker at the Livingston warehouse, Usdaw said the offer was equivalent to an extra 50p per hour.
Heads of Tesco have confirmed that they received notice of the ballot and said they were “disappointed” by the workers' decision.
The supermarket insists that it has put forward a fair and competitive pay offer for its colleagues.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that a decision has been taken to ballot for potential industrial action at a number of our distribution sites.
We have put forward a fair and competitive pay offer to our colleagues, which is one of the highest awards made within our distribution business in the last 25 years.”