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Doncaster Tesco drivers vote to strike

Doncaster, UK: More than 150 drivers at the Tesco distribution centre in Doncaster have voted for strike action, following the 90-days notice of termination of employment by their new employers, Eddie Stobart (ESL).

The drivers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, voted by more than 90% to take strike action and also industrial action short of a strike. Unite regional officer, Harriet Eisner said that the drivers would decide in the next couple of days on what action to take and when.

Last month, the transport workforce was transferred from Tesco to Eddie Stobart  and then on 5 September the new employers issued notice of termination of employment, with no promise that the drivers will be re-employed.

Eisner said: “The full impact of ESL’s decision is now sinking in that they won’t have a job by Christmas. They are shocked, angry and devastated, as what they feared would occur when the transfer took place has happened so quickly and ruthlessly.

“Unite is still in talks with ESL, but the management remains intransigent that it wants to get rid of the drivers. Unite will be mobilising support in the Doncaster community to spearhead the campaign to save these jobs.

“Unite had campaigned for these jobs to be safeguarded once the Tupe (Transfer of Undertaking [Protection of Employment] arrangements) came into force at the beginning of August.

“Tesco must hang its head in shame for what has happened. Tesco has washed its hands of their drivers. Tesco makes great play of being a good corporate citizen – this has been shown to be a PR mockery.”

The drivers voted by 91.7% to 8.3% for strike action; and by 95.4% to 4.6% for industrial action short of a strike.