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Eddie Stobart Doncaster strike action underway

  • 09 October 2012
  • By Chris Druce

Former Tesco drivers facing redundancy at new employer Eddie Stobart have commenced a 48-hour walkout at the group’s Doncaster DC.

Around 100 of the protesters made themselves heard today at the nearby Tesco store in Doncaster, with the town’s mayor in attendance. Public reaction to the action was described by Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner as “amazing”.

Last month Unite members at Eddie Stobart’s Doncaster DC voted for strike action. This followed the operator’s decision to make all 183 drivers’ roles redundant, having decided to remove the transport operation at the site and manage work from within the wider Eddie Stobart network.

The drivers had transferred across under TUPE regulations to Eddie Stobart from former employer Tesco at the start of August.

Eisner accused the operator of attempting to rid itself of the drivers as “quickly and as cheaply as they can”.

In response David Pickering, Eddie Stobart MD, said: “It’s very disappointing that the drivers have decided to strike as we are not even halfway through the consultation process and we have already committed over 120 alternative driving roles within Stobart Group, with Tesco offering an additional 90 warehousing jobs in the Yorkshire region.

“We’ve put contingency plans in place to ensure that store deliveries are maintained and, so far, we’ve seen no significant disruption,” Pickering said.

However, Unite has complained that the jobs being offered to its driver members are either warehouse roles, or driving jobs elsewhere in the network on different terms and conditions. Eisner added that the nearest driving job on offer is in Chesterfield, more than 30 miles away.

Last month, according to Unite around 40 Eddie Stobart drivers who took part in a protest over the planned redundancies were turned away from work when arriving for their shifts later that day.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/eddie-stobart-doncaster-strike-action-underway