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GXO has described comments by the Unite union regarding a pay offer for 1,000 of its draymen making beer deliveries across the UK as “inaccurate and misleading” and that they risk causing unnecessary disruption.

As things stand, the HGV drivers at 22 GXO sites are due to go out on strike between 31 October and 4 November, which the union claimed would cause problems for pubs and other venues in the run up to the football World Cup.

Unite claimed that its members had rejected a 5% pay increase, below what it said was a 12.3% real inflation rate and it added that GXO was also demanding a reduction in sick pay.

A continuous overtime ban by the union began on 24 October.

But GXO said Unite’s claims were incorrect: “The current proposal is for an average 9.2% increase and does not impact sick pay,” said a spokesman.

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“The offer is highly competitive and follows an above-inflation annual pay raise of 4% last year.

“The increase exceeds the industry average and in every region, earnings for our drivers are above both the regional and national averages.”

The GXO spokesman added: “We are in constant contact with our customers and should a strike go ahead, we have business continuity plans in place to ensure they are adequately stocked and minimise impact on consumers.”

Unite said the strikes will impact beer supplies to places supported by breweries such as Heineken, Stonegate, Admiral Taverns and Shepherd Neame.

Joe Clarke, Unite national officer, said: “GXO has left our members with no choice. This is a company making millions upon millions but asking its workers to take a pay cut during a cost of living crisis.

“Any disruption to the UK’s beer supplies is entirely the result of GXO’s greed. It must return to the negotiating table with an offer our members can accept.”