Workers at a Black Country bread factory have voted for strike action in a row over pay increases.
Members of the Unite trade union voted 82 per cent in favour of industrial action at the Kingsmill base, in West Bromwich, as shop stewards battle for a greater pay increase offer from management.
The factory, in Birmingham Road, supplies customers such as Asda and Sainsbury's with bread, muffins and rolls across the Midlands region, producing 1.5 million loaves per week.
Unite said the company had offered 130 staff a two per cent pay rise plus £150 for the year starting in April 2017 and the same offer for the year starting April 2018.
It called this "completely unacceptable" as the CPI inflation rate for October was three per cent.
The union said it now had a mandate for industrial action and would resume talks with management in a bid to resolve the pay issue.
Unite has previously claimed that Kingsmill drivers earn between £26,000 and £28,000 a year while drivers employed by Sainsbury's are on £42,000 and those working for Culina take home £33,000.
The union also claims drivers at Kingmills' Stockport depot earn £1,500 more per year than those in West Bromwich.
Unite's lead officer for the food sector Joe Clarke said: "Our drivers, maintenance staff and security personnel at the bakery voted by 82 per cent for strike action which is an overwhelming mandate for Unite's stance.
"Following the result, we have had initial discussions with the company about further talks with senior executives to resolve the pay issues.
"We are waiting to hear back from the company on possible dates for new talks. There are differences between us over market pay rates and the cost of living which need to be resolved.
"We look forward to constructive talks with the company in a bid to resolve this dispute but reserve the right to take strike action if a new offer is not forthcoming."
Allied Bakeries, which owns the Kingsmill brand, said in a statement: "We're disappointed our delivery drivers in West Bromwich have voted in favour of taking industrial action.
"Over the past ten years, the pay settlements agreed at the site have averaged 2.4 per cent.
"This amount is over the CPI rate of inflation for the same period and consistent with our long-term commitment to paying a fair wage while ensuring safe and decent working conditions for all our employees.
"The current offer we are making to our delivery drivers at West Bromwich is comparable to that which has been accepted by all our other delivery drivers across the UK.
"It's in line with the local market benchmark and above the amount many commercial vehicle drivers across the country will receive.
"We remain committed to trying to resolve this situation amicably and are open to further discussion with our employees at any time.
"Should industrial action go ahead, we have robust plans in place and do not expect to see any disruption to bread supply for either our customers or shoppers."