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    Booker’s drivers call-off proposed strike

    Representative image of Booker by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

    The strike of Booker’s drivers, which was due to start on Monday (Oct 4), at the wholesaler’s Thamesmead site has been called off following a negotiation.

    Details about the proposed pay deal have not been made public. The dispute has been brewing since July, when Booker allegedly put in place a temporary £5-an-hour pay uplift for about 40 drivers at its Hemel Hempstead depot because of the HGV driver shortage, but did not implement a similar uplift for the drivers at the Thamesmead site.

    Paul Travers, regional officer of the Unite union, which is representing the drivers, said: “After three days of tough negotiations this week, we have agreed to take the proposals back to the drivers with a recommendation to accept.

    “On that basis, we have suspended the threat of industrial action due to have started on Monday, while our members are being balloted.

    “We expect the result to be announced on 11 October. Unite won’t be commenting further until then.”

    The Thamesmead drivers cater to independent retailers under the Budgens and Londis brands. Unite has been warning of strike-like industrial action that would have further deepened the current supply crisis hitting many parts of the UK economy due to reported lack of high good vehicle (HGV) drivers.

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