// Workers at Tesco’s Belfast, Didcot, Doncaster and Thurrock sites have voted against a 2.5 per cent offer
// They argued the offer was ‘lower than the RPI rate of inflation’
// The news comes as Tesco has called on the government to make urgent changes to the Apprenticeship Levy
Tesco’s lorry drivers and warehouse workers at four distribution centres have rejected a pay offer, their union has announced.
Unite revealed the workers at the Big 4 grocers Belfast, Didcot, Doncaster and Thurrock sites have voted against a 2.5 per cent offer, arguing it was “lower than the RPI rate of inflation so represented a real-terms pay cut”.
“Tesco’s staff have kept working throughout the pandemic and that alone surely means they deserve a decent pay rise. Instead, they are being offered what is, in effect, a pay cut,” Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said.
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A Tesco spokesman added: “We are in ongoing talks with Unite representatives regarding pay and are working closely with them to find a resolution.
“We look forward to meeting with them again soon to work towards an agreement on a pay award for our colleagues in those four distribution centres.”
The news comes as Tesco has called on the government to make urgent changes to the Apprenticeship Levy enabling it to hire and train thousands of new employees as the industry scrambles to find staff.
The retailer said that another 8000 apprenticeships could be added if the government makes changes to the scheme.
It called for up to £1 in every £10 of the levy’s funds to support “high-quality pre-employment and pre-apprenticeship programmes”.