Trade union Unite has announced that staff at a site owned by logistics contractor GXO, that supplies Iceland supermarkets across the South West of England, are preparing to take strike action in the run-up to Christmas.

According to Unite, the company employs its members to work in the cold storage warehouse. The union stated that the majority of employees earn the minimum wage and have rejected a below-inflation two-year pay deal offered by GXO.

The dispute has led to potential strike action by almost 150 Unite members across two Swindon sites in December, one site being a cold store and the other being an ambient temperature warehouse. Unite added that workers could continue industrial action into the new year.

A spokesperson for GXO said: “We believe our proposal is very fair. We remain committed to maintaining an open dialogue with our employees and their representatives. We will work closely with Iceland to ensure their stores are correctly supplied for the Christmas period.”

A ballot opened on Monday 13th November, in which Unite members have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to strike. The ballot will remain open for two weeks.

Unite claimed that the potential strike action could have an impact on GXO’s ability to transport stock to Iceland supermarkets, potentially causing a shortage on shelves and freezers in the run-up to Christmas.

GXO stated that it currently operates five sites for Iceland, and has concluded pay negotiations for six out of eight bargaining groups, with the two Swindon sites and Livingstone being the remaining two bargaining groups. It said it was “taking steps to mitigate the impact of any action on supply of Iceland’s goods”, and would “work closely” with the supermarket to ensure “minimum disruption” to stores and consumers over the Christmas period.

Iceland has been contacted for comment.