Sainsbury’s drivers handed ‘inflation-busting’ 14% pay rise

Fears of festive shortages at Sainsbury’s stores across the South West have ended after drivers received a 14 per cent pay rise.

The 140 hauliers, employed by DHL and members of trade union Unite, had previously turned down a “miserly” three per cent increase.

It comes just weeks after Sainsbury’s drivers in London won an extra £2200 a year, having threatened to leave shelves empty across the capital.

“This is a first-rate result for Unite professional lorry drivers employed by DHL,” general secretary Sharon Graham said.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s & Waitrose ‘misleading’ customers on meat

“This inflation-beating deal recognises the skills and abilities that lorry drivers on vitally important supermarket delivery contracts must possess.”

Inflation is expected to peak around five per cent early next year.

DHL’s costs look set to keep soaring as Unite regional officer Shevaun Hunt pledged the new deal would be “built on in future wage negotiations”.

The supply chain is already fragile thanks to the weight of festive demand and lorry driver shortages, so a strike could cause massive disruption.

On Monday, Usdaw announced it wanted a “decent pay rise” for members across nine Tesco warehouses.

If not, workers will strike from December 20, when the supermarket is due to start its Christmas deliveries.

Workers have already rejected one pay offer, reportedly one of Tesco’s “highest awards” in 25 years.

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