The prospect of shoppers being faced with empty shelves this Christmas has receded as members of Unite have been made an improved offer in the dispute over pay.

Earlier strike announcement

Unite, the UK’s leading union, announced earlier this week that its members employed at Tesco distribution centres in Antrim, Belfast, Didcot and Doncaster would be staging a series of strikes both before and after Christmas.

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

Wealthy company

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

“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.”

Additional agreement

In addition Unite has 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.

If the deal is rejected by the members then fresh strike action will be announced but that is unlikely to be before January 2022.

Members' to decide

Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: “Right from the beginning of this dispute Unite has been clear that Tesco could afford to make a more generous offer and that has proved to be the case.

“It is now up to Unite’s members to decide if the proposed deal meets their expectations.”

Separate dispute

The negotiations held today did not encompass the Unite members employed at the Livingstone distribution centre in Scotland who yesterday (Monday 6 December) also announced strike action. A further update about this dispute is expected in the coming days.

Members of the shopworkers union USDAW, employed at Tesco distribution centres have also voted for strike action. They are covered by separate negotiations, which it is understood will be held later this week.


Notes to editors:

Tesco set for Christmas shortages, after workers offered below inflation pay offer

 During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.