Packaging transport firm DS Smith Logistics said it had contingency plans in place to deal with any disruption caused by its HGV drivers striking in the run-up to Christmas.

The Unite union said the drivers, based in Launceston, Sittingbourne, Avonmouth and Tuxford in Nottinghamshire, had rejected a 5% pay offer from their employer and described it as a real terms pay cut.

It said the industrial action, due to begin on 20 November for an initial seven days, would compromise the ability of DS Smith’s clients, which include Amazon, Direct Wines, Cadbury, Haribo, Tesco, Morrisons and Lidl, to package items for mail order delivery during the festive season.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “DS Smith profits have shot up in the last year and the company is making an absolute fortune.

“Meanwhile, its HGV drivers are expected to put up and shut up with a significant real terms pay cut during a cost of living crisis. This is pure greed on the part of the company.”

National officer Adrian Jones added: “DS Smith can avoid strike action but for this to happen they must properly engage in negotiations and put forward an acceptable pay offer. DS Smith is certainly not short of profits and can fully afford to pay these workers a fair wage increase that takes into account rising living costs.”

A spokeswoman for DS Smith said it was disappointed that “a small group of employees voted for industrial action, especially given the discussions we have been having”.

“The wellbeing of our employees is a priority for DS Smith and we remain committed to finding a solution that works for everyone,” she added. “This is an important time for our customers and we take their needs extremely seriously and should they be needed, we will deploy existing contingency plans to continue to deliver the best possible service.”