Tesco distribution workers in Dagenham postpone further strikes and plan more talks over pay

The Tesco Distribution Centre in Rainham

The Tesco Distribution Centre in Rainham - Credit: Archant

Further strike action at the Tesco distribution centre in Dagenham has been postponed after both sides agreed to further negotiations in a dispute over pay.

Last week workers went on a 24-hour strike over a pay dispute, backed by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) and a further walkout had been planned for Thursday with more strike action to be agreed in due course despite both sides stating their commitment to finding a solution.

The most recent offer, which was rejected by union members, was worth less than 3pc over 12 months to workers, according to Usdaw.

Dave McCrossen, Usdaw divisional officer, said: “Usdaw is pleased negotiations have been reconvened and we are optimistic that these talks will enable both parties to find a resolution to the current dispute.”

The talks will be handled by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), an independent organisation who help to resolve workplace disputes and mediate negotiations.

In a 2017 pay review Usdaw says Tesco failed to make an acceptable offer to its members.

Speaking before the announcement of further negotiations, Mr McCrossen said: “Usdaw members at Tesco Dagenham are seeking a pay rise that reflects the cost of living pressures they face on a daily basis.”

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However a Tesco spokesman has described the pay increase offered by Tesco as “fair and competitive”.

The Dagenham site was the only Tesco distribution centre in the country out of the 21 owned by the company to not agree to the pay increase.

The workers “had not taken the decision lightly” to take strike action, according to Mr McCrossen.

The Tesco spokesman added: “We have always maintained that we have offered colleagues at Dagenham a fair and competitive pay deal.

“We are therefore pleased the union and its members have agreed to cancel next week’s industrial action and welcome the move to involve ACAS to focus on a resolution.”

Usdaw members had previously voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, with 70pc of the 545 people balloted supporting strike action, with a turnout of 6pc.