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Eddie Stobart ‘throws toys out of pram’ in Tesco drivers row: union

2 commentsBy Mike Stones , 26-Oct-2012
Last updated on 26-Oct-2012 at 10:43 GMT

Transport firm Eddie Stobart was accused this week (October 24) of “throwing their toys out of the pram in a fit of pique and walking away,” by Unite the union, as the row over drivers for Tesco at the Doncaster distribution hub deepened.

But David Pickering, Eddie Stobart md, said: “We are not just disappointed by Unite's strategy during these consultations, but are also baffled by their whole approach and feel the drivers are really losing out.”

After the stalled talks yesterday, the union said its driver members would prepare for a 72-hour strike next week. The union said its 180 drivers would strike on Wednesday, October 31, Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2.

Tesco’s decision

The row follows Tesco’s decision to transfer the running of the distribution centre to Eddie Stobart on August 5. The new employer issued 183 Tesco drivers with 90 days’ notice of termination of employment on September 5, with no promise that the drivers would be re-employed once the 90 days was up.

Unite regional officer, Harriet Eisner said that 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.

“Stobart 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,” said. Eisner.

‘Losing their jobs by Christmas’

“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 Eddie Stobart has shown a lack of seriousness in trying to settle this dispute.”

The union claimed there was no need for Stobart “to get rid of these drivers” and does not believe that the firm has the capacity in its existing network to properly service the Tesco distribution centre at Doncaster.

The transport firm would have to recruit new drivers on worse terms and conditions to run the operation, once it has sacked the current workforce, it claimed.

2 comments (Comments are now closed)

Drivers for Tesco

We have just been to our local Tesco superstore wherey drivers were handing out leaflets about the strike and what effect it will have.

My husband is an ex miner and we both feel that how the drivers are being treated is disgusting. Having read the leaflet, explaining that 200 drivers will be unemployed by Christmas in order to make way for cheaper drivers.

If this is the way Tesco treats loyal staff, I am disgusted and we, as a family, will not shop at Tesco again.

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Posted by Mrs S lepianka
09 December 2012 | 16h34

Good Old Tesco

Tesco has played the same trick before, notably at Chepstow and Livingston.

It treated its loyal drivers with contempt in its efforts to reduce wages. This company has no moral principles and thinks by contributing to charity it can hoodwink the public into thinking it cares about people.

In reality, all it cares about is its billions of pounds worth of profit

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Posted by Tommy Sumner
27 October 2012 | 13h46

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