DOZENS of angry lorry drivers targeted the St Leger festival yesterday to protest over plans by hauliage firm Eddie Stobart to axe their jobs, writes David Kessen.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report.
The drivers, who work at the Tesco distribution centre at Middle Bank, targeted the event because Stobarts were sponsoring the day’s racing yesterday, The Stobart Doncaster Cup Day.
In total around 40 drivers turned out with placards and flags, and handed out leaflets to racegoers. The drivers have already backed a strike vote through their Union, Unite, over Stobarts decision to class all 183 lorry driver jobs as “at risk of redundancy”.
They are also angry at Tesco for transferring their posts to Stobart’s.
Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner said: “We want Eddie Stobart to reconsider their position and keep these men on.
“We’ve had a fantsastic reaction from the public here today. They’ve been sympathetic, they’ve ben taking our leaflets.
“These drivers are determined to keep their jobs and they will continue demonstrating at anything sponsored by Tesco or Stobart’s.”
David Pickering, Eddie Stobart managing director, said after a review of the Tesco’s Doncaster distribution centre, it proposed to run it using its using its own network.
He said: “This reorganisation of operations is necessary to achieve a cost-effective, efficient and sustainable solution while still delivering an excellent standard of service.
“As a consequence, all 183 LGV driver positions have been identified as being at risk of redundancy. Eddie Stobart has now entered into a 90-day consultation period with Unite and elected representatives to look at ways of avoiding redundancy and will do everything it can to help affected employees find alternative employment opportunities within Stobart Group.”
Tesco say the transfer of drivers from its staff to Eddie Stobart was in line with the company’s wider distribution network in the region.”