Almost 200 drivers contracted to Tesco distribution centre in Doncaster are balloting for strike action over termination of employment contrtacts


Almost 200 truck drivers working for industry giant Eddie Stobart Ltd are being balloted for strike action after they received notice that their jobs would be cut as part of a savings programme designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The drivers work at the Tesco distribution centre in Doncaster, following 90-days notice of termination of employment by their new employers, Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL).

Last month, the workforce was transferred from Tesco to ESL.

On Wednesday (5 September) the new employers issued notice of termination of employment.

Unite says there is no guarantee the drivers will be re-employed after the 90-day notice period expires.

Unite national officer for retail distribution, Matt Draper said: “Unfortunately, we thought this is the action that ESL would take.

The scale of the job losses will be grim news for Doncaster – a town already badly hit by the government-induced recession.

“ESL has acted in a vicious and greedy fashion.

“It is also hypocritical as one reason put forward for this action is to cut CO2 emissions – but now it will be using depots 30 miles away to service the Tesco distribution set-up in Doncaster – so where is the ‘green’ bonus in that?

“We 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 – but now we can see the true hard face of ESL.

“Tesco must bear its share of the blame for this, as it would have been aware that this might happen.

“Tesco’s make great play of being good corporate citizens – today that has been shown to be a shallow pretence.

“What Unite feared has come true and we are urging the local community to get behind the drivers to maintain these jobs in Doncaster.”

The ballot closes next Wednesday (12 September).

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