Warning of Tesco food shortages before Christmas as distribution workers balloted on strike action

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 12:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 10:21 pm
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Union chiefs have warned of the potential for stock shortages ahead of Christmas if Tesco distribution workers vote to strike over a pay dispute.

Staff at nine Tesco Distribution sites are being balloted on industrial action after the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) members rejected pay offers from the company, including the latest one of a four per cent per hour pay rise.

The ballots started on Monday (22 November) and will run until 6 December.

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Strike action would take place just before Christmas

If members vote in favour of strike action it will take place on 20 December.

The sites being balloted are:

  • Daventry
  • Goole
  • Hinckley
  • Lichfield
  • Livingston
  • Magor main site
  • Magor trunk site
  • Peterborough
  • Southampton

Tesco ‘disappointed’ over ballot

Joanne McGuinness, Usdaw National Officer said: “Our members in nine distribution centres have rejected Tesco’s latest pay offers, so we are balloting them on industrial action.

“Retail distribution workers are key workers who delivered essential services throughout the pandemic, which in turn delivered a 16.5% increase in profit to Tesco for the first half of the year.

“These workers deserve a decent pay rise as their reward for what they have done and continue to do day in day out; couple that with the rising cost of living and inflation currently running at 6%, the company needs to do better.

“The potential of industrial action and possible stock shortages in stores in the week before Christmas can be avoided, if the company comes back to the table with a better offer that is acceptable to our members.”

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.”