TESCO lorry drivers are set for an all-out strike after rejecting a ‘completely unsatisfactory’ offer to settle the long-running dispute.
Around 180 truckers based at the firm’s distribution depot in Middle Bank will walk out indefinitely from December 6, claiming they have been ‘boxed into a corner’ by new employer Eddie Stobart Ltd.
But Stobart bosses have hit back and said the action would have ‘no impact.’
Unite’s Adrian Jones said: “The drivers feel that ESL wanted to get rid of them right from when they were transferred from Tesco to Stobart’s in August.”
The drivers face losing their jobs by Christmas and there have already been five days of strike action.
Mr Jones added: “ESL has issued a press statement that is antagonistic in the extreme. We have discussed a financial settlement with ESL for the drivers – but our priority is to save jobs. The drivers overwhelmingly rejected the financial offer, designed to get them out the door and not to maintain employment.”
An ESL spokesman said: “The firm’s final financial support package would have seen them benefit from a 50 per cent increase on their statutory maximum redundancy pay. However, instead of pocketing the proposed £650 per week of service, they will now receive only £430 per week redundancy pay.”
In addition, the firm has also made 212 job opportunities available to affected drivers as well as extra training.
“We are confident the decision will have no impact on deliveries in the run-up to the festive period and customers can expect the usual high standard of service.”
David Pickering, Eddie Stobart managing director, said: “It’s disappointing to see them lose out. I’m sure they will feel let down.”