UK: Tesco drivers strike suspended as Eddie Stobart tables offer

By Katy Askew | 17 October 2012

Further strike action by Eddie Stobard drivers who deliver products to a distribution centre that supplies Tesco stores around Doncaster has been suspended. 

The 180 drivers, whose contracts were transferred from Tesco to Eddie Stobart when the retailer sold the distribution centre to the logistics firm in August, were told in September that their positions were being eliminated. 

Eddie Stobard has repeatedly insisted that its best efforts are being made to provide the drivers with alternative employment within the group. However, Unite - the union representing the drivers - has already taken industrial action against the company in a bid obtain enhanced redundancy terms. Many of the jobs on offer are considered inappropriate by the drivers because they are located "all around the country", a spokesperson for Unite told just-food. 

In an indication that tensions could be easing, Unite said this afternoon (17 October) that it would postpone a further two-day strike that was due to be staged tomorrow pending negotiations that it will take place at the end of the week. 

"Stobart's has confirmed it intends to put an offer on the table, so we are suspending Thursday and Friday's action pending the talks on Friday," Unite regional officer, Harriet Eisner said. "Unite is keen to explore what ESL is offering, and that talks are conducted in a constructive and positive manner."

However, Eisner was quick to emphasise the union is not "ruling out further action" should Eddie Stobart's offer fail to satisfy the drivers.  

Sectors: Retail

Companies: Tesco

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