Britain's Tesco agrees pay offer to avert depot strike

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LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Tesco (TSCO.L) has averted strike action by workers at nine distribution centres in the run-up to Christmas by agreeing a new pay deal with trade union Usdaw, Britain's biggest retailer said on Tuesday.

"We're pleased to have agreed a pay deal with Usdaw that it recommends to its members," a Tesco spokesperson said.

"Colleagues at these centres will no longer be taking industrial action. We look forward to delivering a fantastic Christmas for customers."

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Usdaw said the planned industrial action in the week before Christmas Eve has been suspended, pending the result of a ballot on Tesco's "much improved" pay offer.

Last week Tesco also agreed an improved pay offer for distribution worker members of the Unite union at four other UK sites. Unite also suspended strike action. read more

The Tesco disputes demonstrate the inflation-influenced wage pressure that might unsettle the Bank of England as it considers whether to become the world's first big central bank to raise interest rates from pandemic lows.

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Reporting by James Davey Editing by Kate Holton and David Goodman

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