Yodel said it was working with the GMB union to resolve a row over pay and conditions as the firm's LGV1 drivers vote on whether to take strike action.

A ballot opens on August 25 and closes on September 15 – meaning industrial action could take place during Yodel's busiest 'peak' period in the lead up to Christmas.

GMB said drivers were angry over their "work life balance", the fact agency workers are paid more than directly employed drivers, annual leave payments that remain outstanding, a failure to offer substantial pay enhancements to stem the tide of drivers leaving the business for better paid jobs elsewhere and a failure to honour contractual agreements around pay for holiday and sick leave.

The union added that it had engaged in weeks of negotiations with Yodel who "failed to act quickly enough to settle the drivers demands or engage with the union on discussions around pay".

Responding, a Yodel spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the GMB’s ballot plans having been proactive in conversations with the union for a number of weeks. We will continue to work with our union colleagues in good faith and are committed to further discussions to resolve any remaining matters.”

Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said: "In a truly staggering act of corporate self-sabotage, Yodel has picked a fight with its organised LGV1 drivers at exactly the moment they should be bending over backwards to make sure they are happy and stay with the business.

“GMB has tried for many months to settle this dispute. Time again drivers’ demands have fallen on deaf ears.

“Our members, who keep Yodel delivering parcels up and down the country, know their worth and they are prepared to stand firm until Yodel meet their reasonable demands.

"Revenue in Yodel is up, parcel deliveries are up, new customers are coming on board. Yet Yodel wants to cause trouble with the very workers that make all of that possible - at a time when they are struggling to keep hold of drivers, let alone being able to recruit new ones.

“It’s ridiculous behaviour and Yodel needs to see sense before it’s too late.”