Workers at two Safeway distribution centres, at Warring in Manchester and Aylesford in Kent, are being balloted by the union on possible strike action. It is understood that workers at the depots fear the site may be closed, affecting 2,200 union members.
The retailer has offered to enter into talks with the union, a move that was welcomed by the GMB. Union members also accused Morrisons of not honouring contracts over pay and holidays agreed by Safeway.
GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: 'We are happy to discuss change, but we won't stand for Morrisons riding roughshod over our members. They have been exposed to substantial change, and original staff [at the old Safeway sites] will tell you not all of it has improved quality and delivery of service.'
Morrisons has sent out this reply: 'We are completely nonplussed by this and have tried to contact GMB Union officials, to no avail. We are amicably negotiating wage increases for 2005 at Warrington and Aylesford depots and know of no contractual issues that remain problematic or unresolved. We are more than happy to discuss any matters arising with the GMB Union.'