Tesco drivers receive a “disappointing” offer

Striking Tesco Drivers picketing the Doncaster distribution centre yesterday'See Story Martin Slack Picture Chris Lawton   '09 October 2012

Striking Tesco Drivers picketing the Doncaster distribution centre yesterday'See Story Martin Slack Picture Chris Lawton '09 October 2012

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FURTHER strike action could be on the cards after Tesco drivers rejected a “very disappointing” offer from their new employer Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) yesterday.

Staff went into the talks hopeful of a satisfactory outcome having suspended another two days of industrial action on Thursday and Friday.

But Harriet Eisner, union Unite’s regional officer, told The Star that what was offered was an “infringement on statutory redundancy”.

The offer was a pay off calculated on the age and years of service of each driver, but capped at £430 a week.

Harriet explained: “The drivers earn more than that so they would be going away with less then what they earn in a week.

“It doesn’t adequately reflect the damage that’s been done to them.

“We believe the only way to run the transport for the Tesco operation at Doncaster is as it’s currently run but Eddie Stobart is saying ‘no we don’t need these drivers as we already have enough in our network and they say that’s much more efficient’.”

She added: “Our drivers are on better terms and conditions than Stobart’s drivers and that’s why they are getting rid of them, pure and simple.

“This comes nowhere near an offer that we can go back to our drivers with.

“Our members had put great faith in today’s talks and that their new employer, Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) would be putting a fair offer on the table.

“They are very disappointed and extremely angry that this was not the case.”

The Tesco drivers took two days of strike action earlier this month after ESL issued 90-days’ notice of termination of employment.

Unite had campaigned for these jobs to be safeguarded once the TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking [Protection of Employment] arrangements) came into force at the beginning of August.

The 180 driver members affected are now considering their options for the coming weeks and further industrial action may be on the cards. A Stobart’s spokesman was unavailable.