STAFF at a beer warehouse in Abingdon could go on strike due to pay which they say 'fails to reflect the cost of living.'

Workers at Greene King's distribution centre on Nuffield Way in Abingdon are among approximately 170 members of the union Unite who voted in favour of strike action on Monday.

Unite members, including draymen, brewery production staff and warehouse workers, voted strongly in favour of strike action according to the union.

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This was due to 'years of annual two per cent pay rises that fail to reflect the rising cost of living' according to a statement from the union.

The union claims to have more than 160 members in Greene King’s brewing and brands department, with membership split between Bury St Edmunds, the firm’s Suffolk headquarters, and distribution centres in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.

The ballot comes after the £4.6 billion takeover of Greene King, which has 3,000 pubs, by CK Asset Holdings in August last year.

Unite regional officer Mark Jaina said: “Despite statements from Greene King’s managing director Matt Starbuck that the brewery was ready to find a way to resolve this dispute, Unite has heard nothing since this ballot was announced.

“We hope that now Greene King’s bosses know our members are serious about receiving a reasonable pay rise."

He added: “The fact is that another two per cent pay rise will not cut it when the cost of living is soaring and this dispute will not be settled until workers receive a reasonable increase to their wages.”

The union began to consider strike action in October last year.

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Greene King said it was confident that a threat by Unite members in its brewing division to potentially strike this year will have little impact on deliveries.

A Greene King spokesperson said the company was disappointed that Unite has encouraged its members to reject the offer of a two per cent pay rise.

They added: “We would like to reassure all our customers that only three out of 15 delivery depots would potentially be impacted by any strike action – Bury St Edmunds, Eastwood and Abingdon – and Unite members account for fewer than 170 people out of 800 in our brewery workforce.

"This means we will still have a majority of non-Unite members working and we have drawn up full contingency plans to ensure there is minimal disruption to our customers.”

Unite now has until mid-July to carry out any strike action and must give Greene King two weeks notice before doing so.