MORE than 1,100 workers employed at Morrisons supermarket distribution centres have begun balloting for strike action in a dispute over pay.

The affected distribution centres are in both Northwich and Wakefield.

The dispute is a result of the workers, who are members of the union Unite, receiving an 'entirely unacceptable' pay offer.

Most workers have been offered a three per cent pay increase, although the lowest paid have been offered two per cent.

The union says these offers are far below the current rate of inflation.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "Morrisons is a multi-million pound operation which has financially benefitted from our members working throughout the pandemic.

"Workers will simply not accept a pay offer which is a real terms pay cut.

"Unite prioritises the jobs, pay and conditions of all its members and our members at Morrisons will receive the union’s full support in their campaign for a fair pay rise."

The industrial action ballot opened yesterday, Tuesday, and closes on November 30.

If members vote for industrial action then strikes could begin by mid-December.

Unite regional officer Ian McCluskey said: "The workers at both distribution centres have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the past 18 months to ensure an unbroken supply of food and goods reaching supermarkets.

"Unite will not accept the divide and rule tactics that Morrisons want to introduce over pay.

"If Morrisons want to avoid huge disruption to its stores shortly before Christmas, then they need to return to the negotiating table and make a pay offer acceptable to our members."

A spokesperson for Morrisons said: "We are still in formal negotiations and are due to meet with Unite again today."