New Year disruption set to follow Christmas strikes as Doncaster Tesco workers in fresh walk-outs

Doncaster Tesco workers have announced New Year strikes, following on from eight days of industrial action in the run up to the Christmas period.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 6th December 2021, 9:03 am
Workers are set for a series of strikes at the Tesco depot in Doncaster.
Workers are set for a series of strikes at the Tesco depot in Doncaster.

Workers at the Tesco distribution depot in Middle Bank had already announced strikes from December 16-17 and December 20-25, with the intention of disrupting supplies to supemarkets in the run up to Christmas.

There will now be a further a 48-hour stoppage beginning on 30 December and a three-day stoppage beginning on 5 January.

It is part of a series of co-ordinated strikes across the country.

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Up to 1,200 workers at Tesco distribution centres across the UK will walk out, the Unite union says.

The workers, including warehouse staff and HGV drivers, are based at sites in Antrim, Belfast, Didcot and Doncaster.

It comes after the supermarket offered a 4% pay rise which Unite said amounted to a "real terms pay cut" due to inflation.

Tesco said the deal was fair and that it would mitigate any disruption.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "Our members have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep Tesco's shelves filled throughout the pandemic. At the very least the UK's largest and wealthiest retailer should be making our members a decent pay offer."

She warned the strikes could lead to shortages of some goods, at a time when supermarkets are already struggling to source what they need amid supply chain issues.

Unite members at the Antrim and Belfast Tesco distribution centres will begin an all-out continuous strike from 07:00 on 16 December.

Unite said the pay rise offered by the firm was "well below" the current retail price index rate of inflation which is 6%.

It is also balloting its members for pre-Christmas strike action at Tesco's distribution centre in Livingston. The ballot closes on Monday.

A Tesco spokeswoman said that customers could be confident it would fulfil it plans over the Christmas period.

"Our distribution colleagues have worked tirelessly through the pandemic in order to keep products moving for customers. The pay offer we have made is a fair recognition of this," she said.

"We welcome the decision by our colleagues at the sites who have voted against industrial action. We are disappointed that some have voted to proceed, and we have contingency plans in place to help mitigate any impacts."