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Tesco drivers walk out against Eddie Stobart plan to sack them

Issue No. 2327

Drivers protesting outside a Tesco near parliament (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Drivers protesting outside a Tesco near parliament (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Tesco lorry drivers in Doncaster began a three day strike today against their new bosses’ plans to sack them all.

Almost 200 workers, members of the Unite union, are threatened. Many have worked for Tesco for more than 20 years.

Their contracts were transferred to Eddie Stobart Limited (ESL) in August—and by September they had all been issued with 90 day redundancy notices. The sackings are set to begin on 4 December.

“Tesco is collaborating with Stobart to give us a raw deal,” striker Barry Lee told Socialist Worker, on a protest this morning outside the Tesco Express store opposite parliament in central London.

“They are taking our pensions, benefits and work contracts. They need to reinstate our contracts or give us our redundancy.”

ESL claims it can run its distribution network better without the drivers, but Unite disputes this. One striker pointed out that ESL had hired up to 50 extra lorries to keep up operations during the strike—proving that there is far less excess capacity than bosses claim.

The drivers expect ESL to hire more workers as soon as they are gone—on lower wages and worse conditions.

They intend to protest outside other Tesco stores in the Yorkshire and Humberside region over the coming days. They previously struck for two days earlier this month, and could be out again as soon as next week.

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Wed 31 Oct 2012, 17:01 GMT
Issue No. 2327
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