A renewed pay offer by DHL Supply Chain to its Wagon Wheel workers in Liverpool has resulted in strike action being suspended - but Unite warned industrial action could ramp up again.

Eight 24-hour strikes were originally slated for between 19 December and 5 January in a dispute over what the union claimed was low pay, as well as “the systematic victimisation of workers”.

However, strikes involving 120 union members on 29 and 30 December did not go ahead, as DHL had indicated it was prepared to make a significantly improved offer.

Unite had previously complained that the logistics company had called out the police to the picket line at the Portal Way site on at least 10 occasions, over concerns social distancing measures were not being observed.

A DHL Supply Chain spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed that Unite took strike action before Christmas at the Liverpool multiuser site.

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“The company has presented a number of different options on pay and fundamentally believes these to be very reasonable in the current climate.

“We have expressed our commitment to Unite to work together to reach a satisfactory outcome for both parties and we are fully committed to the Acas talks that have been scheduled for next week.”

Kenny Rowe, Unite regional officer, said: “Unite has suspended its strike action in good faith to maximise the chances of securing an agreed settlement at Acas next week.

“However if DHL do not deliver on their promise of a meaningful improved offer, on what is a highly lucrative contract, then there will be fresh strike action next week."

The AB World Foods delivery contract affected by the dispute include Jammie Dodgers, the Patak curry range and the Blue Dragon Chinese food range, as well as Wagon Wheels.