Tesco distribution workers balloted on Christmas strike action

Union representing workers at Nursling warn of potential industrial action and stock shortages in the week before Christmas

Tesco stores could face stock shortages before Christmas if distribution workers vote in favour of industrial action

Workers at the local Tesco Distribution depot at Nursling are being balloted by the Usdaw trade union over potential strike action just before Christmas.

Usdaw has today started two formal industrial action ballots covering nine Tesco Distribution sites after their members overwhelmingly rejected the company’s latest pay offer.

The ballots will run between 22 November and 6 December. If members vote in favour of Industrial Union then, unless the company makes an improved offer, the union says strike action will take place in the week of 20 December during the peak Christmas shopping period.

Joanne McGuinness – Usdaw National Officer says:

 “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.”

A Tesco spokesperson told Eastleigh News:

“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.”

Usdaw say that disruption is not inevitable and they are still open to negotiations

“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.”