The Co-operative Food is “pleased” with the outcome of its dispute with around 700 members of staff, which was sparked by the planned transfer of 87 drivers at its Coventry depot to Eddie Stobart Logistics.

Strike action was narrowly avoided last month after the transfer prompted fears among drivers across the food retailer that more jobs could be outsourced in the future.

After talks between union Unite and the Co-operative Food, a deal securing the future of all the remaining drivers at the retailer that protected them from outsourcing was agreed.

Of the 87 drivers at its Coventry depot that the Co-operative Food originally revealed would transfer to Stobart this month, 67 have chosen to take a severance package instead, leaving 20 to make the move across.

A spokesman for the Co-operative Food said: “We are pleased with the outcome of the ballot and look forward to a continued constructive relationship with Unite.

"We have always maintained our commitment to retaining our in-house operations, and are glad that colleagues have recognised this.”

Adrian Jones, Unite national officer for retail distribution, said: “We are pleased to announce that our members have voted by a large margin to accept the deal on the table.

“We now look forward to a new chapter of constructive dialogue with management and to move forward in a positive fashion for the benefit of the Co-op, their customers and our members.

"We are confident that our members have a secure future with the Co-op and that our concerns about the future of in-house transport have been fully addressed."

Jones added that the Coventry drivers movign across to Eddie Stobart has been given “extra assurances that provide confidence for their own futures outside of the Co-op”.