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Eddie Stobart Doncaster drivers to launch continuous strike action

  • 29 November 2012
  • By Chris Druce

Eddie Stobart drivers at Tesco’s Doncaster DC are to launch continuous strike action in a significant escalation of their jobs dispute, Unite has confirmed.

The 180 drivers will commence industrial action on 6 December after rejecting an improved redundancy package from their employer. It will be the third period of strike action in the increasingly acrimonious dispute.

The news comes despite recent attempts to resolve the impasse, which began in August after the drivers were transferred from employment with Tesco to Stobart, at Acas.

Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: “The latest offer to settle this long running dispute was completely unsatisfactory to our members who feel that they have been boxed into a corner by the hard-hearted Eddie Stobart management.”

Jones described the operator’s response to the drivers’ rejection of the improved severance package as “antagonistic”.

He added: “Tesco should hand its head in shame at what it has done to this committed and hard working group of drivers.”

The rejected offer

The affected drivers have rejected an offer that marked a 50% increase on their statutory maximum redundancy pay. This would have equated to £650 per week of service but they will now receive only £430 per week redundancy pay.

Eddie Stobart and Tesco also made 212 jobs available – 90 warehousing and 122 driving jobs – although Unite has criticised the former as not being suitable and the latter as too far away from Doncaster.

The jobs-offer remains on the table until the end of the consultancy period on 5 December, and drivers accepting one would receive a financial support package equal to 75% of their redundancy allowance.

David Pickering, Eddie Stobart MD, said: “We’ve worked hard over the last 10 weeks with Unite, to come up with the best possible financial package for the drivers.

“I’m sure they will feel let down by their representation from Unite. Had Unite concentrated on negotiations, rather than industrial action, then the drivers would be much better off financially.”

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/eddie-stobart-doncaster-drivers-to-strike-for-third-time