Ex-Stobart drivers stage new protest

Around 50 former Tesco lorry drivers attend a protest over redundancies
Around 50 former Tesco lorry drivers attend a protest over redundancies

Former Eddie Stobart lorry drivers made redundant last year have vowed to keep fighting until they get justice.

The former Eddie Stobart employees took part in a demonstration at the Tesco distribution centre on Middle Bank where protesters tried to slow down lorries coming in and out of the centre as part of their ongoing campaign against the redundancies.

The drivers, who used to work on a Tesco distribution contract, said they decided to hold the protest to highlight the ‘unfair dismissals’.

It also comes amid claims Eddie Stobart Ltd is currently trying to hire staff in the same roles they were made redundant from in January last year.

Around 50 of the 184 former drivers attended the demonstration.

Trevor Cheetham, former senior steward for the Unite trade union, said he thought the protest had been successful.

He said: “We’re here to let Tesco know we’re not going away. We’re going to keep fighting until these men get some justice.”

Phil Fowler worked for 12 years as a lorry driver before being made redundant.

He said: “We want justice because the job I was doing 12 years ago is still being done today, and it’s not right.

“We were well paid but that was through years of negotiations and pay rises, and that’s why they got rid of us.

“The average driver here worked for Tesco for at least 10 years. I didn’t have a day off or a disciplinary once in the 12 years I worked here – but they still got rid of us like that.

“I don’t care how much we get from the tribunal, it’s not about the money it’s about making a stand against what they did to us.”

Unite is currently pursuing an unfair dismissal claim on behalf of the 184 drivers, claiming the redundancy package given to the drivers was insufficient.

The employment tribunal is expected to hear the case next month.

A Tesco spokesperson said after the protest: “A number of Tesco colleagues at Doncaster transferred to work for Eddie Stobart in late 2012.

“At the time we consulted with the union and we’ve stood by the agreements that we made with them then.”

A representative for Eddie Stobart Ltd declined to comment on the protest.