GXO has defended its decision to dismiss two members of staff at its Croydon depot after a union criticised it for using “draconian” measures.

Strikes among beer delivery drivers, draymen and warehouse workers could now be on the cards after Unite said it was balloting 120 members for strike action.

It comes only a matter of months after industrial action was previously threatened against GXO by the trade union in a dispute over pay for its HGV drivers and draymen.

Unite said management at the Croydon site had failed to follow an existing agreement on dealing with disciplinary matters and had instead relied on “excessive” measures.

The circumstances behind the two members of staff’s dismissal have not been revealed.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite will not allow GXO’s draconian and unfair disciplinary procedures to continue unchecked. This appalling management has to end.

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“Unite is now solely focussed on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the workers at GXO will receive the union’s complete support.”

Paul Travers, the union’s regional officer added: “If strikes go ahead it will cause severe disruption to beer supplies across London and the South East, but this dispute is entirely of GXO’s own making and the high handed manner in which it is treating its workforce.”

However, it is understood GXO has contingency plans in place to ensure an uninterrupted supply but that strike action could put at risk the business’ sustainability, resulting in changes being made to the network.

A spokesman for GXO said it was disappointed the union was encouraging strike action when it believed it had taken “two fair and reasonable dismissals”.

The spokesman added: “Whilst we will not go into detail in respect of individual cases, we are satisfied that our procedures were thorough, fair and reasonable.