JJB Sports has taken steps to derecognise the union that represents workers at its Wigan distribution centre.

The sports retailer has lodged an appeal with statutory body the Central Arbitration Committee against the GMB, which has 120 members at the centre.

JJB claims the GMB has failed for nine months to appoint a shopfloor representative with whom it can negotiate, which has delayed a possible pay rise for union members.

A JJB spokesman said affected workers would not get a pay rise unless the union appointed a representative or was derecognised.

The retailer also claims membership has fallen below the minimum level legally required for recognition - a claim the GMB disputes.

JJB’s spokesman said: “JJB Sports is acting out of frustration with GMB for not organising itself, to the extent that it prevented the company from awarding employee union members a pay rise.”

The spat is the latest in what has often been a bad-tempered relationship between JJB and the GMB.

GMB spokesman Eddie Gaudie said the union would resist attempts to be derecognised and said that the workforce “wants the union on site”.