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Unite threatens Stobart Group with strike action

  • 06 September 2012
  • By Chris Druce

Unite has threatened Stobart Group with a strike over its “vicious and greedy action”, after the operator revealed it would remove the transport function from its Doncaster DC, putting 183 drivers’ jobs at risk.

Eddie Stobart revealed its plans to staff at the DC yesterday (5 September), confirming Unite’s worst fears after the transfer of the business and staff from Tesco on the 5 August.

In a letter sent to staff and seen by Commercialmotor.com, the company states its intention to “organise transport collections and/or deliveries to/from Doncaster utilising [its] transport network.

“It is proposed that no units, other than those used as shunt vehicles, will be based at Doncaster”.

In response, Matt Draper, Unite national officer for retail distribution, said: “The scale of the job losses will be grim news for Doncaster.

“Eddie Stobart has acted in a vicious and greedy fashion. We had campaigned for these jobs to be safeguarded once the TUPE arrangements came into force at the beginning of August, but now we can see the true hard face of Eddie Stobart.

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

However, David Pickering, Eddie Stobart MD, said: “This reorganisation of operations is necessary to achieve a cost-effective, efficient and sustainable solution, while still delivering an excellent standard of service. As a consequence, all 183 LGV driver positions have been identified as being at risk of redundancy.

“Eddie Stobart has now entered into a 90-day consultation period with Unite and elected representatives to look at ways of avoiding redundancy and will do everything it can to help affected employees find alternative employment opportunities within Stobart Group.”

The process of balloting Unite members at the DC began last month ahead of the redundancy announcement. The result of the ballot is expected on the 12 September.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/unite-threatens-stobart-group-with-strike-action