Morrisons has been branded “pig-headed” as the threat of a national depot workers’ strike looms. All union depot workers in Scotland and England will be balloted for industrial action after formal notification is sent to Morrisons next week.
The GMB and T&G unions have rejected Morrisons’ 3.2% pay offer and are calling for national negotiations. GMB national officer Jude Brimble said: “There’s a complete breakdown in relationships with Morrisons. The company has become pig-headed.”
But Morrisons claimed that union leaders had cancelled scheduled meetings. A spokesman said: “We are perplexed that the GMB are talking to the media prior to any discussion with us. We believe that engaging in discussion with the company would be more helpful.Our door is always open and we would be happy to have national level discussions with the GMB.”
Meanwhile, Asda’s Washington depot workers were finishing a three-day strike over pay as The Grocer went to press.
GMB representative Mark Wilson said everyone on site walked out at midnight on Wednesday, July 27, but he was hopeful that an agreement could be reached.
Northern Ireland independent supermarket retailer Curleys has introduced Payzone self-serve kiosks for mobile phone top-ups at its stores in Belfast, Dungannon and Ballymena.

Cadbury Schweppes has reported a 6% increase in half-year pre-tax profits to £370m. In the 24 weeks ending June 19, like-for-like confectionery sales were up 7% and beverage sales were up 4%.

Shoppers are increasingly turning to supermarkets for homewares, according to market research group Verdict. It says department stores and specialist retailers have lost market share in the past five years to Tesco and Asda.

Supermarket workers who deliver home shopping to customers lift an average of 4,000kg a day, the Health and Safety Executive has found. The weight compared with 3,690kg for baggage handlers and 3,550kg for builders.

Woolworths’ like-for-like sales fell 4.4% in the 24 weeks to July 16, the group has revealed. The retailer said the retail climate since its last update in June remained difficult.

Reckitt Benckiser has reported an 8% increase in operating profit for the second quarter to £185m. Its net income for the period had increased by 13% to £144m.

Costco has revealed plans to open its 17th outlet in the UK, a 135,000 sq ft warehouse in Milton Keynes - a month after opening its 16th outlet in Bristol. The new unit, near junction 14 of the M1, is scheduled to open in early November. MD Francis Ball said a couple more new openings were in the pipeline.
NI Payzone Kiosks
Cadbury sales up
Specialists losing
Shopping heavies
Woolworths’ down
Reckitt income up
Costco plans 17th