Tesco drivers vote on revised Eddie Stobart offer

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Eddie stobart Employment Trade union

Eddie Stobart drivers have shelved plans for industrial action pending consideration of a revised employment offer
Eddie Stobart drivers have shelved plans for industrial action pending consideration of a revised employment offer
Tesco distribution drivers employed by Eddie Stobart at its Doncaster hub are voting today (October19) on whether to accept a revised employment offer, after the drivers suspended industrial action earlier this week.

The row followed Tesco’s decision to transfer the distribution centre’s operation 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: “Stobart has confirmed it intends to put an offer on the table, so we are suspending  Thursday and Friday’s action pending the talks on Friday.

Further action

“We are not ruling out further action, but Unite is keen to explore what Eddie Stobart is offering, and that talks are conducted in a constructive and positive manner.”

The drivers took two days of strike action last week, with what the union described as “great support from the Doncaster public.”

On Monday (October 15) David Pickering, Eddie Stobart md, told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the drivers; union Unite had “forced drivers into proposed strike action​”.

Proposed strike action

"It's very disappointing that Unite has forced the Doncaster drivers into proposed strike action,” ​said Pickering. “Since the original ballot was held, we have committed over 120 alternative driving roles within Stobart Group just one month into meaningful consultation and dialogue.”

Speaking earlier in the week, Eisner said: “People are also furious that Tesco has connived with Eddie Stobart to create this situation when it transferred the workforce to Stobart’s in August. Tesco is equally to blame – and the people in Doncaster can see that.”

Unite is campaigning for the drivers' jobs to be safeguarded under the TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking [Protection of Employment] regulations), which came into force at the beginning of August.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “We continue to hope that the drivers and Eddie Stobart will reach an agreement. We will keep working with Eddie Stobart to try to provide alternative roles for all the drivers.”

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