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Doncaster Tesco drivers to strike for 48 hours next week

Doncaster Tesco drivers to strike for 48 hours next week

04 October 2012

More than 180 drivers at the Tesco distribution centre in Doncaster will strike for 48 hours next week, disrupting supplies to Tesco stores 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

Notes to news editors:

The drivers voted by 91.7 per cent to 8.3 per cent for strike action; and by 95.4 per cent to 4.6 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.

For further information please contact Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner on 07768 931 272 and/or Unite communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940