Argos is facing a union dispute after revealing it intends to transfer nearly 100 of its drivers to Eddie Stobart Logistics. 

It echoes a dispute that was settled last month, which was sparked by the planned transfer by Co-operative Food of 87 of its Coventry-based drivers to Eddie Stobart as part of an out-sourcing deal.

The Unite union has said the proposal by the Argos management is a serious threat to its members’ pay and conditions.

Matt Draper, Unite national officer for road transport, said: “We urge Argos to rethink this plan which will be highly detrimental to hardworking and dedicated employees.

“We are very likely to proceed to an industrial action ballot, if common sense does not prevail.”

Argos outsources the rest of its driver network to Wincanton, and Unite said the Stobart proposal raised concerns that the Wincanton drivers could end up also working for the haulier.

“While, as a union, we would prefer all workers to be employed in-house, we regard Wincanton as a superior employer to ESL – alarm bells are definitely ringing amongst the Wincanton drivers about what the future holds for them with this latest news,” Draper said.

In a statement, Argos said it was transforming to meet the needs of its customers: “Distribution and fulfilment of products same day is at the heart of our proposition,” it added.

“For this reason we are re-aligning our structure to enable us to become more efficient by combining our resources with another partner. This is not about job losses but about enabling us to better meet the demands of our customers and providing a growth engine for our business.

“We would be disappointed if there was any industrial action as we need to remain relevant and available for our customers every day of the week.”

Stobart did not comment.