The union Usdaw has launched industrial action ballots at nine Tesco distribution centres in disputes over pay, warning of potential shortages in the run up to and over the Christmas period.

The formal action comes after members overwhelmingly rejected the company’s latest offers.

The two disputes involve nine Tesco distribution centres at: Daventry, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Livingston, Magor (both trunk and main site), Peterborough and Southampton.

The ballots are set to run between 22nd November and 6th December. If members vote in favour it is intended that strike action will take place in the week of 20th December.

Joanne McGuinness, Usdaw national officer, said: “The potential of industrial action and possible stock shortages in stores in the week before Christmas can be avoided, if the company comes back to the table with a better offer that is acceptable to our members.”