Drivers employed by the Tesco-owned Booker Retail Partners at its Thamesmead site are to vote on a new pay deal.
As a result, the strike action that could have disrupted supplies to convenience stores in London and the south east, due to have started on Monday (October 4), has been suspended.
Unite the union said today (October 1) that its members will vote on the proposals, which remain confidential, with the result due to be announced on Monday, October 11.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Progress in this dispute is welcomed, but I urge Booker to understand that Unite remains dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of all its HGV driver members across the UK and we will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards.”
The crux of the dispute had been that the company, part of the Tesco ‘empire’, put in place a temporary £5 an hour pay uplift for drivers at its Hemel Hempstead depot because of the HGV driver shortage, but then refused to implement a similar uplift for the drivers at the Thamesmead site.
Unite regional officer Paul Travers added, “After three days of tough negotiations this week, we have agreed to take the proposals back to the drivers with a recommendation to accept.
“On that basis, we have suspended the threat of industrial action due to have started on Monday, while our members are being balloted. We expect the result to be announced on 11 October. Unite won’t be commenting further until then.”
By Shaun Noble