More strike action possible over Tesco jobs threat

TESCO drivers have been out in force on Mexborough High Street to voice their protest at 200 jobs being placed at risk.

Supermarket chiefs transferred members of its Doncaster workforce to Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) in August and just one month later staff were issued with a 90-day notice of termination of employment — with no promise that they will be re-employed.

Workers have already held a two-day strike in protest at the move with further action planned for Thursday and Friday should talks fall through this week.

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Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner said: “People are furious that Tesco has connived with ESL to create this situation when it transferred the workforce to Stobart’s in August.

“Tesco is equally to blame and the people in Doncaster can see that.

“Unite would like to thank the public for its tremendous and generous support of the Tesco drivers, it has been a fantastic boost to their morale.

“Unite is actively seeking a fair settlement with ESL, but if these talks fail, more industrial action will take place next Thursday and Friday.”

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David Pickering, Eddie Stobart managing director, said the company had found more than 120 alternative roles within group.

He said: “It’s very disappointing that Unite have forced the Doncaster drivers into proposed strike action.

“Since the original ballot was held, we have committed over 120 alternative driving roles within Stobart Group just one month into meaningful consultation and dialogue.

“If the strike does go ahead, we will ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum.”

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The workers are currently based at a distribution centre in Middle Bank at Doncaster Carr.

The centre, which is now fully managed by Eddie Stobart, employs 200 drivers who deliver to the company’s stores across the north of England.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We continue to hope that the drivers and Eddie Stobart Ltd will reach an agreement and we will keep working with Eddie Stobart Ltd to try to provide alternative roles for all the drivers.”