Transport and distribution specialist Eddie Stobart is putting two Iveco ECOSTRALIS tractor units to the ultimate test within its extensive transport operation.

Eddie Stobart is facing a third strike by its drivers based at Tesco’s Doncaster DC.

Although the operator and Unite had been in talks via Acas in a bid to resolve the long-running jobs dispute, efforts to find a way forward have failed.

The 183 drivers, of which 180 are Unite members, have now rejected an improved redundancy offer from Eddie Stobart, and announced they will commence continuous strike action from the 6 December.

The union believes this will be highly damaging for the Eddie Stobart/Tesco operation as volumes passing though the DC peak for Christmas. The operator has continuously played this down.

No resolution

David Pickering, Eddie Stobart MD, said: “We’ve worked hard over the last 10 weeks with Unite, to come up with the best possible financial package for the drivers.

“Our proposal was a 50% increase in their statutory redundancy pay which would have seen them benefit from significant financial support so it’s disappointing to see them lose out.

“I’m sure they will feel let down by their representation from Unite. Had unite concentrated on negotiations, rather than industrial action, then the drivers would be much better off financially.”

Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: “The latest offer to settle this long running dispute was completely unsatisfactory to our members who feel that they have been boxed into a corner by the hard-hearted Eddie Stobart management.”

Jones added: “The drivers feel that Eddie Stobart wanted to get rid of them right from when they were transferred from Tesco in August. Unite believes this has been the company’s agenda all along.”