DHL said it was disappointed strike action was on the cards at its Langlands Park depot in Scotland after Unite criticised Sainsbury’s decision to transfer cleaning staff to another firm that doesn’t recognise trade unions.

Unite will launch a two-week ballot for industrial action on 22 March based on a move by the supermarket to transfer workers at the East Kilbride site to the cleaning and facilities management firm NIC Group.

Unite also claimed these workers had also been informed by NIC that they will receive no wage rise this year.

The union said the dispute in East Kilbride threatened to spread to other UK depots if the transfer went ahead

However, DHL said it would be involved in further talks to resolve the issue.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The decision by Sainsbury’s to transfer unionised workers in East Kilbride to the NIC Group, who fail to recognise collective bargaining rights, is shameful.

“In effect, Sainsbury’s, in this instance, is involving the good name of the company in anti-trade union practices.”

The union’s industrial officer, Willie Thomson, added: “Many of our members have given long service through the DHL contract. Now they face seeing hard won terms and conditions being ripped up.”

A spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain said: “We are disappointed that Unite is balloting its members over industrial action at our Langlands Park depot.

“We look forward to further talks to reach a satisfactory outcome for both parties, but contingency plans are being drawn up and every effort will be made to minimise disruption to services should the action go ahead.”