Settlement hope in Tesco drivers’ unfair dismissal case

Former Tesco lorry drivers pictured during a demonstration outside the Tesco Distribution Centre, Middle Bank, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 17-12-14 Tesco Drivers MC 3
Former Tesco lorry drivers pictured during a demonstration outside the Tesco Distribution Centre, Middle Bank, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 17-12-14 Tesco Drivers MC 3

A settlement is finally believed to have been reached between hauliage firm Eddie Stobart, retail firm Tesco and 184 lorry drivers who claimed they were unfairly dismissed.

An employment tribunal was due to start today involving the drivers who lost their jobs at Tesco’s Doncaster logistics base but there was no hearing this morning and it is understood an agreement may have been made.

Drivers in the union Unite have been claiming they were unfairly dismissed after Eddie Stobart took over Tesco’s delivery work two years ago.

The employment tribunal hearing was due to reconvene today with senior Tesco managers will be questioned over the process of transferring the drivers from Tesco to ESL in August 2012.

The origins of the dispute go back to August 2012 when the transport workforce was transferred from Tesco to ESL and then in September of that year, ESL issued notice of termination of employment, with no promise that the drivers would be re-employed once the 90-days were up.

This sparked a four month dispute. Eventually the drivers voted to accept a package from ESL which meant that they finished work in January 2013.

A number of the former Tesco drivers are still working in the industry either as self-employed drivers or for agencies – however, a good proportion remain unemployed.