Primark has agreed to increase pay to workers at its stores in Northern Ireland to lift the threat of strike action.

Usdaw members at Primark in Northern Ireland voted to accept company a pay offer which means the hourly rate of pay for shop floor workers will increase from £6.84 to £7.14 from next month.

From next month, staff Christmas bonus of one week’s pay will instead be incorporated into the basic hourly rate.

Two weeks ago, Usdaw suspended strike action due to take place over the St Patrick’s Day holiday weekend after Primark made an eleventh hour pay offer during talks convened at the Labour Relations Agency.

Staff will now receive a 1% pay increase backdated to January 1 followed by a further increase of 1.88% from April 2012.

The dispute was originally sparked by Primark’s decision to im.pose a two year pay freeze on its Northern Ireland staff.

Usdaw Area Organiser Nicola Scarborough said: “Our members clearly welcomed the offer made by Primark and are pleased the dispute has been settled without the need for industrial action.

“The positive outcome shows the benefits of the company working more closely with Usdaw on pay and other issues of concern to staff.”