Two of the biggest unions have joined forces and are threatening to shut down Morrisons’ distribution network across England and Scotland.
Morrisons is facing a national ballot for strike action unless it caves in to demands from the T&G and GMB for national pay negotiations.
Shop stewards from both unions met earlier this week and voted unanimously on the action, following the break down of regional pay talks.
Union members are unhappy with Morrisons’ final pay offer of 3.2%, but the problems run deeper. T&G organiser Brian Revell said: “Shop stewards across the network are reporting increasingly frequent operational problems.
“Many workers feel that they are in the dark about their future and what the company’s plans are for rationalisation.”
Workers at Morrisons’ Aylesford depot in Kent have already voted for strike action.
“This ballot in Kent is part of a gathering storm in the Morrisons/Safeways distribution network,” said Paul Kenny, GMB acting general secretary. “GMB have been faced with unilateral changes and they have no promises of job security as the depots are rationalised.”
He added: “GMB members will not tolerate Morrisons’ bullying any longer.”
A spokesman for Morrisons said that the door was always open for discussions and added: “We are alarmed to discover that unions are planning a campaign against us using inflammatory rhetoric, such as ‘hit them where it hurts’ and ‘attack using the media’.
“We are endeavouring to deal fairly with all our employees at a time of great change.”
Meanwhile, Asda depot workers in Washington, Tyne & Wear, went on a 24-hour strike over pay on June 23 and further action may follow a disciplinary hearing against a shop steward.