Deliveries to Tesco stores across Yorkshire and the north east could be at risk as a pay dispute at the firm’s Doncaster distrubtion depot escalates.
Union Unite has said today that unless there is a breakthrough in a pay dispute at the firm’s depot in Middle Bank, the disruption could cause Christmas food shortages.
Pay talks at the Doncaster site, which employs 580 warehouse staff, have stalled as the union says bosses have failed to make a ‘decent and respectable’ pay offer.
Unite is this week preparing for a consultative ballot of its members to test the water for the go-ahead to a full-scale industrial action ballot, which could include the option for strike action.
Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner said: “Pay talks at Tesco's Doncaster distribution centre have been going on for three months and now have stalled because of the bosses’ failure to come up with a decent and respectable offer that we can put to our members.
“Our members want an increase in line with the retail price index (RPI), currently running at 3.5 per cent, so that they can keep up with inflation.
“We now have no option other than to hold a consultative ballot to see if members wish to hold an industrial action ballot which could include the option for strike action.
“While we are some stages away from strikes becoming a reality, such action in the run up to Christmas would hit deliveries to Tesco stores in Yorkshire and the north east at a time when competition amongst the supermarket giants is at its most intense.
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“To avoid this blow to their profitability, Tesco bosses at Doncaster need to sit down with Unite for constructive talks on pay and make us an offer we can recommend to our members to accept.
“Tesco is a highly profitable company that can well afford a generous offer to its hardworking Doncaster workers, given that in April the supermarket giant unveiled a 28 per cent rise in operating profits in the year up to February 2018.
“Last week at the Tory party conference, Theresa May indicated the end of austerity was in sight – this is a message that does not seem to have reached the tight-fisted Tesco management in Doncaster.”