Tesco drivers to strike over Christmas?
The supermarket has frozen pay for drivers and warehouse staff in Belfast and Doncaster for this year, and now they're being balloted by their union, and if they strike at the earliest opportunity, that means they could be downing tools on December 18th. If you're in those areas, get your Christmas shopping delivered before then, eh? Or shop somewhere else, obviously.
That said, Tesco are being bullish about the whole situation, and said that "any industrial action at these two sites will have no noticeable effect on Tesco customers".
A Tesco spokesman said: “For the past several months we have been engaged in dialogue with our unions over our normal annual pay negotiations in our distribution centres. A two-year pay proposal has been fully recommended for acceptance by Usdaw across 20 of our sites and colleagues are currently voting on this offer."
"The approach from Unite is clearly counterproductive, as we have always been committed to pay discussions, and is surprising given Unite had initially agreed to new talks. We want all of our distribution colleagues to support our turnaround plans, and work together to better serve our customers."
Unite national officer Adrian Jones returned serve: "Our members have been working very hard to get Tesco to the position where the company can announce such promising results and be confident that it has turned the corner of the challenges of recent years."
"We don’t want favours from the company but we believe that the current offer is far below what it can afford and what our members deserve. Unite members don’t want to disrupt anyone’s Christmas shopping but without a proper pay increase thousands of workers will not be able to enjoy their own Christmas in the way they deserve."
"We urge Tesco to revise its pitiful pay offer and avoid potential industrial action in the run-up to Christmas."