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Tesco makes improved offer to head off strike action


Unite is considering the improved off from Tesco while another union, Usdaw, will resume negotiations with the supermarket giant on Monday

Tesco PLC (LSE:TSCO) has made an improved offer to members of the Unite union in an effort to stave off threatened industrial action.

The workers have been offered a minimum of a 5.5% increase backdated to July 2021 (the anniversary date for annual pay increases) and an additional 0.5% from February 2022, the Unite union said in a press release.

Tesco has previously offered the workers a 4% pay increase, below the current retail price index (RPI) inflation rate of 6%.

“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,” said Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite.

Tesco workers, including warehouse staff and lorry drivers, at Tesco’s depots in Antrim, Belfast, Didcot and Doncaster had been planning industrial action over pay, with a series of rolling strikes from 16 December until after the New Year.

The threatened action prompted headlines of Christmas being cancelled – at least for Tesco shoppers, although the UK’s largest supermarket by sales seems to have cottoned on to the fact other supermarkets are available and has come back with an improved offer.

Earlier this week, another union Usdaw, said its members had voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action at nine of Tesco’s distribution centrs between 20 December and Christmas Eve.

Talks between Tesco and Usdaw are expected to resume on Monday.

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