Primark staff in Northern Ireland are to be re-balloted by Usdaw over a possible strike after a “technical oversight” in the original ballot process left the union open to a legal challenge.

Primark was only verbally informed of the result and not immediately in writing on the day of the results were confirmed as is required.

Last month, Usdaw members voted 93% to 7% in favour of taking industrial action in protest at Primark’s attempt to impose a pay freeze for the second year running.

The new ballot will open on February 15 and close on February 29.

Usdaw representatives from Primark’s eight stores in Northern Ireland met on Tuesday and heard that the company has agreed to talks which will take place at the Labour Relations Agency on Friday.

Usdaw area organiser Nicola Scarborough said: “The oversight in the first ballot is very regrettable but the new ballot will ensure the union and its members are legally protected should any industrial action prove necessary.”

She added: “Industrial action is obviously a last resort and one our members would prefer not to have to take, but they do want Primark to treat them fairly and recognise the contribution they are making to the company’s success.

“We hope that this week’s talks will lead to a resolution of the dispute.”