Unite insists strike will hit Tesco deliveries

Unite insists strike will hit Tesco deliveries

Doncaster-based delivery drivers at an Eddie Stobart distribution centre are planning a 48-hour strike that union officials claim will disrupt deliveries to Tesco stores in the Yorkshire and Humber regions.

Logistics firm Eddie Stobart acquired the distribution facility from Tesco in August. One month later, the firm moved to lay-off Doncaster's 180 delivery drivers as it integrated the site into its existing operations.

The staff are 30 days in to their 90-day consultation period.

Over 90% of the delivery drivers voted in favour of strike action after Eddie Stobart failed to offer enhanced redundancy terms, Unite, the union representing the workers, said.

Harriet Eisner, Unite's regional officer, said that the strike will "severely disrupt" supplies to Tesco stores across the region.

"Tesco has only itself to blame since it washed its hands of the drivers when it transferred them to Eddie Stobart in August. More strikes are on the cards until this dispute is resolved," she commented.

The 48-hour strike will start just after midnight next Tuesday (9 October).

Click here for an update on the impact that the strike is expected to have on Tesco

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Doncaster Tesco drivers to strike for 48 hours next week
More than 180 drivers at the Tesco distribution centre in Doncaster will strike for 48 hours next week, disrupting supplies to Tesco stories across the region.
 
The strike will start at 00:05 on Tuesday, 9 October and will end at 00:05 on Thursday, 11 October and will cause havoc in supplying the Tesco stores in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
 
The strike follows an overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action, after the drivers' new employers, Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) issued 90-days' notice of termination of employment last month.
 
Unite regional officer, Harriet Eisner said: "The drivers are furious at the way they have been treated by this callous management which seems hell-bent on throwing them onto the dole queue by Christmas.
 
"The strike action will severely disrupt supplies to Tesco stores across the region. But Tesco has only itself to blame since it washed its hands of the drivers when it transferred them to Eddie Stobart in August. More strikes are on the cards until this dispute is resolved.
 
"Unite wants a constructive dialogue with ESL, but the management has remained intransigent in wanting to get rid of the drivers. ESL has so far put nothing on the table which signals the drivers will be treated with dignity."
 
The drivers protested at the recent St Ledger's meeting at Doncaster race course, even though the ESL management had pleaded with Unite to call this off.  Stobart's was one of the sponsors of the St Ledger's Stakes meeting - one of the five classic races in the flat racing calendar.
 
The drivers, members of Unite, the country's largest union, voted by more than 90 per cent to take strike action and also industrial action short of a strike.
 
In August, the transport workforce was transferred from Tesco to ESL and then on 5 September the new employers issued notice of termination of employment, with no promise that the drivers will be re-employed once the 90-days is up.
 
Unite had campaigned for these jobs to be safeguarded once the TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking [Protection of Employment] arrangements) came into force at the beginning of August.
 
ENDS

Original source: Unite