A PAY dispute at Tesco distribution warehouses, including one in Gwent, could lead to union members taking industrial action around the busy Christmas and New Year period.

Distribution workers who are members of the Usdaw trade union have rejected a pay offer from Tesco and will soon vote on industrial action.

The Tesco distribution centre at Magor is affected by the pay dispute, as well as other centres across the UK, in Daventry, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Livingston, Peterborough and Southampton.

A spokesperson for Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) confirmed the union had "given notice to Tesco that distribution members are to be balloted on industrial action after they rejected the company’s pay offer".

The ballot period will run from November 22 to December 6, and depending on the outcome, distribution workers from those Tesco warehouses could be out on strike in a matter of weeks. By law unions are required to give 14 days notice of strike action, meaning the earliest any industrial action could start would be Monday, December 20.

The news comes days after another industrial pay dispute, between bus firm Stagecoach and the Unite trade union, was resolved, with workers' demands met after 17 days of strike action.


Ahead of the ballot, Usdaw would not comment on the exact details of the Tesco pay offer its members had rejected.

However, the Argus understands the supermarket chain had offered workers in Magor a four per cent rise, equivalent to an extra 50p per hour.

A Tesco spokesperson confirmed the company had received notice of the Usdaw members' ballot.

"We are disappointed that a decision has been taken to ballot for potential industrial action at a number of our distribution sites," the Tesco spokesperson said.

"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."