THE long-running Tesco lorry drivers’ dispute has come to an end after workers agreed a new redundancy package.
The bitter dispute at Doncaster’s Middle Bank distribution depot began in August after the firm’s transport workforce was switched from Tesco to hauliers Eddie Stobart Limited with drivers promptly issued with notices.
The move sparked a string of strikes, culminating in an indefinite walk-out last week.
But yesterday drivers agreed to a new deal - although they will all still lose their jobs by the New Year.
The drivers’ union Unite called the resolve “a victory for worker solidarity” after the 180 drivers voted overwhelmingly to accept an enhanced package. It will mean drivers will finish work in January.
Unite’s Adrian Jones said: “This is a victory for the drivers who have displayed unity, strength and resolution throughout this difficult time against a hardline employer.”
“It also sends out a clear message to other transport and retail companies that may be thinking of treating their employees less than fairly that Unite will neither flinch nor back away from a dispute until there has been an acceptable and equitable settlement.”
Eddie Stobart said the drivers have been offered alternative driving roles at Tesco and the two firms have also highlighted an additional 212 available jobs at the firms.
David Pickering, ESL managing director, said: “We’ve worked diligently and professionally to come up with the best possible package and to provide a range of alternative employment options. It’s a positive way to resolve the dispute and I’m extremely pleased for all parties that the drivers accepted our latest offer.”