DHL Supply Chain has hit back at the GMB union for claiming it attempted to impose a real terms pay cut on its drivers working on a JCB delivery contract and said it had offered an above inflation pay increase.

The workers, who deliver JCB parts between factories across the UK, will now go out on strike on the 23 and 24 May after a vote found 96% in favour of downing tools.

The union claimed DHL bosses offered a 5% pay award to the drivers and with inflation running at 9% it said this was a pay cut.

But DHL told motortransport.co.uk it was “disappointed” in the union for both the industrial action and also the inaccuracy of its statement: “The pay offer we have made amounts to a 9% increase, which is above inflation and extremely generous in the current climate,” said a DHL Supply Chain spokeswoman.

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“Secondly, the negotiations relate to our drivers and not the customer’s.

“We remain open to further talks to reach a satisfactory outcome for both parties, but robust contingency plans are now in place and every effort will be made to minimise disruption to services should the action go ahead,” she added.

Stuart Harrison, GMB Organiser, said: “GMB is here to support our members in fighting for what they deserve.

“These are skilled drivers who are falling behind with pay rates while the cost of living skyrockets.”