Tesco has struck a pay deal with trade union Usdaw to fend off a strike by workers at nine of its distribution centres.

Tesco warehouse

Usdaw members had threatened to walk out of distribution centres from December 20 until Christmas Eve if Tesco did not improve its pay offer.

The threat, which would have severely impacted Tesco during the crucial Christmas week, came after the union rejected the grocer’s planned 4% pay increase for staff. Workers argued the offer fell below current inflation levels.

The planned strike of warehouse workers and drivers would have affected nine distribution centres in Daventry, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Livingston, Peterborough, Southampton and two sites in Magor.

Usdaw stated it had “secured a new and much-improved pay offer”, with 5,000 of its members now set to vote on the deal.

The union added: “Planned industrial action in the week before Christmas Eve has been suspended pending the ballot result.”

Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuinness said: “After the overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action, Tesco reopened pay negotiations with Usdaw.

“I am pleased to say that we have been successful in achieving a significantly improved offer and Usdaw is recommending that members accept it in the ballot.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We’re pleased to have agreed a pay deal with Usdaw that it recommends to its members. Colleagues at these centres will no longer be taking industrial action. We look forward to delivering a fantastic Christmas for customers.”

Tesco also averted a strike at four other distribution centres last week after reaching a separate agreement with trade union Unite to improve its pay offer.