Yodel could be facing strike action among staff after the parcel carrier offered them a “miserly” 1.6% pay deal.

GMB members at the company overwhelmingly turned down the offer, describing it as a “kick in the teeth” after reportedly handling Christmas volumes every day due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The union said the deal, worth 1.6% this year and then 1.5% from July 2021, was rejected by 84% of members.

It said Yodel needed to return to the negotiating table rather than risk strike action during the peak season.

Gary Carter, GMB national officer, said: “This should be a good news story for Yodel and with all the talk of key workers being rewarded for their efforts through the pandemic.

“Instead they have chosen to insult workers with a miserly 1.6% on offer.

“The public are on the side of key workers and I’m sure they are shocked at the way Yodel parcel delivery workers are being treated.”

In response, Mike Hancox, Yodel CEO, said: “We are keen to reward our staff for their valued service and are disappointed that USDAW and the GMB have rejected our offer of an above inflation pay rise.

“We urge both unions to reconsider the offer and not to take industrial action.”

The row erupted as Yodel said it would be creating 2,950 more roles across the country as it prepares for what is predicted to be one of the busiest festive periods ever.

The jobs include 2,500 self-employed and 450 employed opportunities, including couriers and parcel sorters.

Its announcement followed investment plans that involve building a northern ‘super-hub’ to support the business’s long-term growth and keep up with demands for deliveries.

Hancox added: “We’re expecting this peak period to be higher in intensity and longer in duration than ever before as people look to prepare for Christmas earlier.”