72 hour strike called for Wednesday – Friday next week by scores of drivers employed on Eddie Stobart contract to supermarket giant

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Unite has called a 72 hour strike next week by scores of drivers working for supermarket giant Tesco, as it accuses their new employer of ‘walking away’ from negotiations.

Officials say the 3-day strike by 180 drivers – from next Wednesday (31 October) till Friday, (2 November) – will disrupt deliveries to Tesco stores across Yorkshire and the north of England.

Unite says the drivers’ employer, Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) had promised a new offer this week, but walked away from the talks when it heard about the possibility of strike action.

Regional officer, Harriet Eisner said: “Stobart’s had a real opportunity to settle this damaging dispute which is hitting its client, Tesco by coming forward with a fair offer – but they threw their toys out of the pram in a fit of pique and walked away.

“Our members, who face losing their jobs by Christmas, will be striking for three days to save their jobs.

“Unite is keen to negotiate a fair and just settlement – but ESL has shown a lack of seriousness in trying to settle this dispute.”

Unite has challenged claims that the firm has enough capacity in its existing network to service the Tesco distribution centre at Doncaster properly.

It says ESL would have to recruit new drivers on worse terms and conditions to run the operation, if it has sacked the current workforce.

In August, the transport workforce was transferred from Tesco to ESL. Days later, the company issued redundancy notices with no promise that the drivers will be re-employed after a 90-day consultation is completed.

The Tesco drivers have already taken two days of strike action earlier this month.


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