Tesco employees call off strike

Tesco employees at a number of distribution centres across the UK will no longer take strike action over pay.

Earlier this week, trade association Unite announced that members working at the supermarket retailer’s warehouses in Antrim, Belfast, Didcot, and Doncaster would be staging a series of strikes before and after Christmas.

Following the announcement fresh talks with the company were held and an improved offer was made.

The Tesco distribution employees have been offered a minimum of a 5.5 per cent increase backdated to July 2021 - the anniversary date for annual pay increases - and an additional 0.5 per cent from February 2022.

“Tesco’s improved offer shows what can be achieved by our members standing together,” said Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham. “Given that the company has forecast profits for 2021 topping £2.5 billion an improved offer is the least Tesco workers could expect".

She added: “Unite is the union which always puts the jobs, pay and conditions of its members first and in doing so it is consistently securing improved pay deals for its members.”

A spokesperson from Tesco said: “We’re pleased to have agreed a pay deal with Unite that it recommends to its members. Colleagues at these centres will no longer be taking industrial action. We look forward to delivering a fantastic Christmas for customers.”

Unite has also secured an agreement with Tesco for a formal dialogue on revising the current system of legacy and new generation contracts. If agreed this would create a single pay scale for all the work being undertaken in the distribution centres.

Unite was also able to secure an increase in overtime at the Doncaster distribution centre and an increase in holiday entitlement - one bank holiday and one standard holiday - for the workers at Belfast.

Unite will now ballot its members on the deal and is recommending its acceptance.

Unite said that if the deal is rejected by the members fresh strike action will be announced, but added that this is unlikely to be before January 2022.

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