The GMB union is to ballot Wilko DC staff for industrial action over staff rotas it claims give "no consideration to work-life balance".

The dispute comes after the retailer's move to standardise seven-day working across its DCs and to include weekends.

Wilko told that employees have worked weekends "in response to customer needs" for several years now and that it is in talks with staff to introduce "more regular working patterns" at its DCs.

However, the GMB has accused Wilko’s new rotas of affecting employees’ work/life balance and preventing staff from consecutive days at home with their families.

More than 2,000 people work across the two DCs, based in Magor, Wales and Worksop, Nottinghamshire, of which more than 80% are GMB members.

A recent consultative ballot revealed that 90% of members would back industrial action in protest against the new rotas.

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Gary Carter, GMB national officer, said: “More than 90% of our members are so angry they are willing to walk out – that shows the strength of feeling amongst staff.

“The new rota’s are brutal. Wilko bosses have given no consideration to work/life balance – many people need consecutive rest days and time with their families. To cut this off will have implications for their health and wellbeing, their safety and their family lives.”

Talks took place between the union and retailer last month, however the GMB said these have broken down “after the management failed to compromise”.

“We’ve offered several alternatives to these enforced rota changes – but management don’t seem to be listening. Members now feel they have no option but to take part in a strike ballot.”

A Wilko spokesman said the business would be continuing to talk with team members and their representatives about the rotas and added that it was "disappointed" the union is to ballot for industrial action.

He said: “Our customers are hard-working families that shop seven days a week. For several years now, team members in our distribution centres have worked weekends in response to customer need. This is already part of their existing contract of employment and our current discussions are about making this a more regular working pattern.

“We are incredibly disappointed to hear the GMB talk about taking a more disruptive course of action. We understand this topic is as important to our team members as it is to our customers.

“We are continuing to talk to our team members and their representatives about creating rotas which meet the needs of our customers while enabling a work/life balance.”

The GMB is finalising plans for a ballot including action up to a strike.