The dispute between Eddie Stobart and Unite threatens to run and run, after the union rejected the operator's latest improved redundancy offer.

Harriet Eisner, regional officer at Unite, said her 180-driver members were angry that the new deal did not, in their opinion, go far enough.

Unite had postponed a second wave of strike action ahead of last week's (19 October) meeting, but warned this sanction was now back on the table.

Eisner added: “Unite believes that there is no need for Stobart to get rid of these drivers. We don’t believe that the firm has the capacity in its existing network to properly service the Tesco DC in Doncaster."

Stobart is looking to remove the transport function from its Doncaster DC in favour of using its nationwide network to handle deliveries. It took on the DC and 183-drivers from Tesco under Tupe in August.

In response to Unite's decision, David Pickering, MD at Eddie Stobart, said: "We are again disappointed with Unite's decision and are really starting to question their strategy in these consultation discussions.

"Our enhanced financial package was worth an additional £1m and we feel the drivers have really lost out with the latest decision from Unite.

“Not only did we increase the redundancy pay offer by 28%, but we offered additional pay in lieu of notice and significant financial support for any drivers taking up the hundreds of alternative roles that both Eddie Stobart and Tesco have made available."