Another row is brewing between DHL and its lorry drivers on a Sainsbury’s contract after they rejected a 3% pay increase.

The dispute involving more than 140 HGV drivers undertaking deliveries across the South West comes less than a month after the delivery firm settled a pay row among its drivers on the Sainsbury’s contract in Dartford.

DHL told it was disappointed about the ballot and that it had recently tabled an improved offer.

But the Unite union said the current pay offer bore no relation to the current RPI inflation rate of 4.9%.

A ballot for strike action opens on Thursday (11 November) and Unite said if truckers vote to down tools then industrial action could begin as early as the second week of December.

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DHL said contingency measures were being drawn up.

Unite regional officer Shevaun Hunt said: “Our members are balloting for strike action as, despite protracted negotiations, DHL has failed to make a reasonable pay offer.

“Even at this late stage, DHL can still avoid strike action by returning to the negotiating table and making an offer which meets workers’ expectations.”

A spokeswoman for DHL Supply Chain said: “We are disappointed that Unite the union and its members are balloting on industrial action.

“In recent days we have tabled an improved offer and look forward to further talks to reach a satisfactory outcome for all parties, but contingency plans are being drawn up to minimise disruption to deliveries should the action go ahead.”