Unite says the company refuses to try to resolve 4-month dispute over redundancy threat against 180 workers


Scores of drivers at Tesco’s vast distribution centre in Doncaster have begun a third round of strike action over the threat to sack 180 of them in a contract transfer dispute with the haulage giant, Eddie Stobart.

Unite officials say the company has refused to make any improved offer to try to resolve the 4-month dispute, despite 3 days of industrial action last week (pictured) and a high-profile protest at a Tesco store next to the Houses of Parliament.

Unite says executives at Eddie Stobart have walked away from negotiations which officials believe could prevent further strike action and the disruption of Tesco deliveries across Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Within weeks of securing a delivery contract from the supermarket chain, Eddie Stobart’s [ESL] issued 90-days’ notices of termination of employment to the drivers.

Since the Tesco transport workforce was transferred to ESL, the company has refused to give an undertaking the drivers will be re-employed when the notice period ends.

The drivers – some of whom had more than 20 years service with Tesco before the transfer to ESL – fear dozens of them face redundancy within weeks.

Unite says those who are re-employed could be paid a minimum of £2.00 an hour less than they earn under their existing contracts.

One Unite steward told UnionNews: “If they have a better offer to make to us, they should table it now.

“This is all about the welfare of these men – that’s what we’re concerned about. But the company say they won’t talk while we have plans for industrial action.”

It is understood officials have notified the company of further strike action next week if ESL continues to reject Unite’s request for talks to resume.

You can watch a film report on last week’s action at Doncaster here:

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