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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 11:15 GMT
Union to meet supermarket bosses
Picket line
Workers voted to act after rejecting a pay deal
Union officials are to meet the bosses of Sainsburys in Merseyside after 750 depot workers went on strike.

The Haydock staff ended their 24-hour walkout over pay at 0000 GMT on Tuesday.

However night shift workers who turned up to start work found they had been locked out.

Sainsbury's said staff were contracted to start work at 2200 GMT and it was not practical to start later.

A spokesman for shopworkers' union Usdaw said the incident was a "complication" to the negotiations.

But he said they had agreed to a meeting on Friday.

"We will see what comes out of that," he said.

"Our members had their wages unlawfully deducted by being locked out.

That was a complication we didn't need in the discussions
Usdaw spokesman

"That was a complication we didn't need in the discussions."

Sainsbury's said staff had started work at the depot, which supplies Sainsbury's stores across northern England, at 0600 GMT on Tuesday.

The company said it was waiting for a response from Usdaw about the meeting.

A statement read: "We would have liked colleagues to work the usual shift last night which started at 10pm.

"However, it was made clear to all colleagues and Usdaw that they are not contracted to work partial shifts and therefore it would not be practical to begin a shift at midnight."

The workers voted to take the action because the supermarket chain's hourly pay rates are lower than those of workers with similar firms in the region.

Staff have rejected a pay increase from the current rate of 5.75-an-hour to 7.55-an-hour saying the regional average is 8-an-hour.

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28 Nov 03  |  Merseyside
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12 Oct 03  |  Business
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10 Oct 03  |  Business

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