Union members working for Menzies Distribution have voted to strike for the first time over ‘pitiful’ pay offer.

Unite members voted with 86 per cent in favour of strike action and by 91 per cent for industrial action short of a strike, with the exact dates for industrial action to be announced in the next fortnight. Menzies Distribution, however, said it was optimistic that a resolution could be achieved.

The move follows the new pay offer that was imposed from April, which saw wages rise five pence above the national living wage to £7.25 an hour.  Double time pay and time off in lieu for seven of the eight bank holidays were removed and workers now just receive basic pay for bank holidays.

The strike, if it takes place, is expected to cause severe disruption to the distribution of newspapers and magazines to newsagents and railway stations, particularly in south east England and Scotland.

Unite national officer for the graphical, paper and media sector Ian Tonks said: “The wiping out of extra pay and time off for bank holidays have caused particular ire for our members, and this vote is a strong indication of their anger at the pitiful pay offer.”

Dave Shedden, head of communications at Menzies Distribution, said: “We are engaged in further discussions with the Union, and are optimistic that a resolution can be achieved.”