Wilko strike: Workers suspend action after 'last-ditch' offer

Wilko sign Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption GMB union said the strike action would have "crippled" Wilko deliveries

Wilko warehouse workers have suspended strike action after "gruelling talks" produced a "last-ditch" offer from the company.

About 1,800 GMB union members at two distribution centres in Magor, Wales and Worksop, Nottinghamshire, were due to walk out on Friday and Monday.

Their move came amid a dispute over a proposed new weekend working rota.

The union will now put the "improved" offer to its members and has suspended the strike until after a vote.

If members accept it in a vote, all strike action will be called off.

But if they reject it, the union said it would go ahead with strikes already planned for 21 and 22 October, with the potential for more dates.

The dispute began after the high street retailer decided to introduce a new seven-day rota, which the union described as "brutal".

In a letter to members, the union said the new offer from Wilko "meets their aims" of less weekend shifts for workers before the Christmas peak period and is "the best offer that can be achieved".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The distribution centre in Worksop would have seen 1,200 people walk out

A spokesman for the company previously said they were bringing the new rota in because customers expect to shop seven days a week and they "must respond to [their] needs".

Speaking about the new deal, they said: "Throughout the talks, as a family business, finding a workable way to land seven-day operations and guarantee more time off for our team members to spend with their families has been our top priority, our new offer will deliver this.

"It's no secret retail is tough and we believe the best way to resolve our differences is by listening, talking and working things through together.

"We're looking forward to working closely with the GMB to implement seven-day operations that meet our customers' shopping needs, is right for team members and our business."

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