Lorry drivers ready for protest march

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STRiKING lorry drivers will be marching through Doncaster tomorrow in protest over their treatment by haulage firm Eddie Stobart.

Members of the union Unite, who work at the Tesco distribution centre at Middle Bank, will be demonstrating from 10am, before marching with placards and banners in to the town centre.

Unite national officer Adrian Jones said the drivers were taking continuous strike action in order to save their jobs.

They started their latest strike yesterday.

He said: “Unite is prepared to continue negotiating with the company, but there has to be genuine goodwill shown and constructive proposals on the table from the management.”

The firm’s 180 drivers say they feel they have been ‘boxed into a corner’ by Eddie Stobart and believe bosses have wanted to get rid of them since they were transferred from Tesco in August.

The drivers voted to reject the company’s offer as ‘completely unsatisfactory’.

The origins of the dispute go back to August when the transport workforce was transferred from Tesco to ESL.

Then, on September 5, Eddie Stobart issued a notice of termination of employment, with no promise that the drivers will be re-employed once the 90-days are up.

A spokesman for Eddie Stobart said the company had offered the drivers 50 per cent over the statutory maximum redundancy pay.

It would have seen them receive £650 per week of service with the company.

He said the firm had also made 212 job opportunities available to the drivers.

He added: “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.”