Pay strike by drivers delivering to convenience stores suspended

A planned strike by drivers which could have disrupted deliveries to convenience stores in London and the southeast has been suspended.

Members of Unite employed by Tesco-owned Booker Retail Partners at its Thamesmead site were due to take industrial action on Monday.

The union announced that a vote will be held on a proposed new pay deal, with the result due on October 11.

“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,” Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said.

READ MORE: Booker’s ‘cynical’ attempt to ‘hoodwink’ drivers increases likelihood of strikes, warns Unite

Last month, Booker drivers at its Thamesmead site unanimously voted for strike action over a pay dispute, affecting over 1500 convenience stores in London and the southeast.

The strike action came from the introduction of a temporary £5 an hour raise for about 40 drivers at its Hemel Hempstead depot due to the HGV driver shortages but did not do the same for the 40 drivers at its Thamstead site.

At the time, Unite regional officer Paul Travers said this is a “really ‘smell the coffee’ time for the bosses at Booker Retail Partners.

“Our members at Thamesmead could not have sent out a clearer message – 100 per cent voting in favour of strike action.”

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