Tesco avoids Christmas strike with wage increases above inflation Business

Tesco will grant an above-inflation pay rise to thousands of workers to end the threat of strikes at its depots before Christmas.

The walkouts planned by 1,200 Unite union members at the Antrim, Belfast, Didcot and Doncaster distribution centers before and after Christmas will no longer take place.

However, rival union Usdaw demanded a better deal after a meeting on Wednesday, with talks resuming next week.

The action by Usdaw members is said to affect nine Tesco distribution sites and around 5,000 employees during the crucial holiday season, when retailers make most of their profits.

To minimize the disruption, the supermarket chain agreed to a 5.5% wage increase with Unite, retroactive to July 2021, plus an additional 0.5% from February, after the rejection of a previous offer from 4%.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are delighted to have entered into a salary deal with Unite which he recommends to its members. Colleagues from these centers will no longer carry out industrial action. We look forward to providing a fantastic Christmas to our customers.

Adrian Jones of Unite said: “From the outset of this dispute, Unite made it clear that Tesco could afford to make a more generous offer and it turned out to be the case.”

Separately, Asda also faces potential strike action in the New Year after drivers and warehouse workers began voting this week on a payroll advisory ballot, the Grocer reported.

Other companies, including Morrisons, DHL and Harrods, have all succumbed to union demands and rising staff wages as unions take advantage of a tight labor market.

Businesses grapple with a severe shortage of truck drivers and warehouse workers after workers in Eastern Europe returned home during the pandemic or moved to higher paying jobs in others sectors.

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This notice was published: 2021-12-08 19:03:07

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