Doncaster Stobart lorry drivers to strike over job threat

Eddie Stobart lorries The Eddie Stobart drivers were "furious" at the firm's plans for the Doncaster centre, said Unite

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Lorry drivers at a supermarket distribution centre in South Yorkshire have voted to hold a 48-hour strike in a dispute over possible job losses.

About 180 drivers at Tesco's Doncaster distribution centre are set to start the walk out next Tuesday.

The drivers, employed by Eddie Stobart, are angry at planned cuts to the haulage firm's operations at the site.

Eddie Stobart said it was disappointed by the decision and Tesco said it hoped strike action could be avoided.

Eddie Stobart, which took over operations from Tesco at the Doncaster site in August, announced the reorganisation in September.

'Management intransigent'

A total of 183 lorry drivers' jobs at the Doncaster centre were threatened if the plans went ahead, the Unite union said.

In response, 92% of drivers had voted in favour of a strike, the union said.

Harriet Eisner, Unite regional officer, said members wanted "a constructive dialogue" with Eddie Stobart, but the company's management had so far remained "intransigent".

"The drivers are furious at the way they have been treated by this callous management which seems hell-bent on throwing them on the dole queue by Christmas," said Ms Eisner.

She said the strike would "severely disrupt" supplies to Tesco stores across the region.

'Minimum disruption'

David Pickering, Eddie Stobart managing director, said the proposed strike action was "very disappointing".

Mr Pickering said: "If the strike does go ahead, we will ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum."

Tesco said in a statement that its former drivers had been offered positions in the warehouse at the Doncaster distribution centre and elsewhere within the firm.

If the strike went ahead it did not expect it to cause disruption for its customers, the company said.

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