Britain’s biggest retailer could face empty shelves and “severe” shortages within weeks after a Christmas strike was announced.
Tesco workers at depots in Antrim, Belfast, Didcot and Doncaster are set to walk out despite being offered a four per cent wage boost.
The supermarket has previously claimed this was one of the highest awards in its distribution business for 25 years.
However, at two per cent below the retail price inflation rate, trade union Unite labelled it a “real terms pay cut”.
“Our members have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep Tesco’s shelves filled throughout the pandemic,” general secretary Sharon Graham said.
“At the very least the UK’s largest and wealthiest retailer should be making our members a decent pay offer”.
Soaring inflation, labour shortages and festive demand mean that many supermarkets have been threatened with industrial action.
Workers across the four Tesco sites will begin striking from the early hours of December 16.
However, those in the Doncaster and Didcot warehouses will pause their strike for 48 hours on December 18, giving Tesco a window to strike a deal with the union.
“Even at this late stage Tesco could still avoid severe disruption in its stores by returning to the negotiating table and making a greatly improved offer,” Unite national officer Adrian Jones said.
The grocer has also offered a four per cent pay rise to workers in nine depots across the UK.
Trade union Usdaw has rejected this and plans to strike from December 20, but some workers have been threatened with losing their jobs.