The Unite union said there would be “huge disruption” of supplies to City Plumbing and CPS outlets after GXO drivers voted to go out on strike from next week.

The move came after the dismissal of a Unite representative at GXO’s Lockheed Road depot in Warrington, in what the trade union claimed were “trumped up charges” - something GXO disputes.

However, as a result, continues strike action is now due to commence from Monday 22 May; Unite said that given the nature of just-in-time distribution contracts, City Plumbing and PTS would quickly run short of materials.

“Unite will do absolutely everything in its power to defend our reps,” said Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary.

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“Unite can’t allow our reps to be victimised or dismissed by unscrupulous employers who’re desperate to break the union.

“Unite will leave no stone unturned until our member has been reinstated.”

Unite regional officer Kenny Rowe said: “The strike action will cause huge disruption to City Plumbing and PTS and to plumbers across the UK, but this dispute is entirely of GXO’s own making.

“Not only has the company victimised a Unite rep but it has refused to accept the error of its ways and fairly resolved the situation.”

A GXO spokesman said: “The dismissal in question was fair and reasonable, following an internal investigation and disciplinary action, for gross misconduct in violation of our policies.

“GXO is supportive and respectful of its colleagues’ membership to, and right to collective self-expression within, Unite and other unions. We will work with Unite on this matter, with a view to reach a speedy resolution.”