Some 1,100 workers in the GMB union at a Sunderland call centre are voting on whether to strike over low pay.
Workers at Shop Direct, formerly known as Littlewoods, have rejected a below-inflation offer.
One worker said, “It’s got to the stage where members are coming out with the same kind of money they were getting ten years ago and they can’t do it any longer.
“It’s not a nice position to be in, but we can’t afford it any longer. A lot of people who work here are the sole earners and are having to do two jobs because one isn’t enough.
“People feel as though they have to make a stand. When negotiations started we requested a 3.8 percent rise.
“We were offered 3 percent, which was turned down by the membership.
“After negotiations, the company offered 4 percent, but nothing for July, August and September.”
Micky Hopper, the GMB union’s regional organiser, said, “The 4 percent offer works out the same as the 3 percent. All management have done is move the dates around.
“Our members are being asked to work harder, with more complicated jobs, without a further increase in pay. It’s not acceptable.”
The ballot closes on 2 September. Workers in the Usdaw union at the company have also rejected the pay offer.