More than 700 Co-op drivers will be voting on a package of proposals to settle the dispute over the outsourcing of jobs.
Unite, the country’ largest union, will be recommending that its members accept the offer hammered out after two days of hard bargaining at the conciliation service, Acas. The ballot results will be known after the Easter holiday.
The dispute has centred on the transfer of 87 Coventry-based drivers to the haulier Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) and the implications for Co-op drivers across the UK in the future.
In a statement Acas said: “After intensive talks, Acas has helped the Co-op and Unite to reach agreement on a set of revised proposals, which Unite the union will now fully recommend to its members. The proposals include improvements for employees at the Coventry depot and longer term assurances across the wider Co-op network.
“In recognition of this Unite the union has agreed to suspend any industrial action until the outcome of the ballot.
“Acas is pleased that the talks have been held in a constructive manner and collaborative spirit.”
Unite national officer for retail distribution Adrian Jones said: “We are now confident that our members have a secure future with the Co-op and that our concerns about the future of in-house transport have been fully addressed.
“Our members have been given a firm commitment for their future in line with the business’ five-year plan.
“Our members at Coventry, who will be transferring to Eddie Stobart, have been given extra assurances that provide confidence for their own futures outside of the Co-op.”
The Co-op driver members affected are based at Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland; Castlewood, north Derbyshire; Chester-Le-Street, County Durham; Coventry; Inverness; Newhouse, Lanarkshire; Plymouth and Thurrock in Essex.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact: Unite national officer Adrian Jones on 07739 654 859 or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.