UK retailer Tesco has brushed off recent worker protests outside its Polish HQ and labelled demands for a pay hike as "unrealistic".

Around 100 workers held protests outside a Tesco store in Krakow - an outlet that also doubles as the retail giant's headquarters in the country - on Thursday (1 October).

Reports in Poland quoted union leaders as attacking the "ridiculously low" pay at Tesco Polska.

"Instead of becoming richer, Tesco employees are getting poorer and poorer. They are forced to do a job originally done by three people, because over the last year the total staff has shrunk by one-third," a union official said, according to Polish news agencies.

Tesco, however, insisted it had a "great relationship" with Polish unions and played down the impact of the protests.

"These four small trade unions represent a tiny proportion of our workforce. They are asking for an unrealistic pay increase at a time when many companies have a pay freeze or are making redundancies," a spokesperson told just-food.

The spokesperson added that the retailer had agreed a pay deal with the Solidarity trade union, one of Poland's largest.

"We have agreed our latest pay deal with Solidarity and our company wide staff survey shows that our employees are satisfied with the salary and benefits package and enjoy working for Tesco," the spokesperson said.

Tesco announces its interim results in London tomorrow.