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Spanish retailer Dia to raise pay by up to 12% to cope with soaring inflation

FILE PHOTO: People leave a DIA supermarket in Ronda

(Reuters) - Spanish retailer Dia has agreed to give employees at supermarkets and warehouses pay rises of up to 12% over the next two years, plus special bonuses to some lower-paid workers, to help cope with skyrocketing prices, the company told Reuters.

Under a preliminary deal with unions, the company will pay increases of between 8% and 12% for 2023 and 2024 as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Supermarket and warehouse staff earning 23,847 euros ($24,779) or less per year will also receive a one-off fixed bonus of 350 euros. A performance-linked bonus will then be paid out in 2024.

"This is a major step towards the long-term stability of the company's transformation project in Spain," Dia said on Friday.

As elsewhere in Europe, unions in Spain have been pressing for large pay hikes as prices rise. Representatives of some of the 234,000 workers at Spain's biggest retailers are seeking rises of at least 18% to offset the cost-of-living surge triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine.

At Dia, parties to the pay agreement including trade unions CCOO, UGT and Fetico are set to sign the final version of the agreement on Dec. 1 and the wage increases will be implemented on Jan. 1 2023, CCOO said in a statement.

Spanish consumer prices rose 7.3% year-on-year in October, down from 8.9% in the period though September, data from the National Statistics Institute showed.

($1 = 0.9624 euros)

(Reporting by Matteo Allievi and Jakub Olesiuk; Editing by David Latona and David Holmes)