General merchandise retailer Argos may face industrial action after union members overwhelmingly rejected a possible two year pay freeze for hundreds of staff at its flagship distribution centre, it has emerged today.
Senior executives have told trade unions that a planned pay rise is no longer an option, instead offering an extra day’s holiday to employees without additional remuneration, according to The Sun.
Argos’ distribution centre in Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire employs some 300 people and a union representative told the newspaper that 97 per cent of them have rejected the offer, with industrial action “likely”.
Unite officer Rick Coyle said: “It’s all well and good offering an extra day’s holiday, but in the current climate our members need the money.”
Argos had previously proposed a wage increase of 1.7 per cent in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 financial years on the condition that lunch and tea breaks were reduced by five minutes.
Bosses at the retailer have reportedly written individually to employees urging them not to support the move.
Argos declined to comment.
Earlier this month, the retailer reported a total sales rise of 5.2 per cent in the eight week to March 2nd 2013 and increased its profit expectations as it continues to invest in its turnaround strategy.