Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/15663

Posted on 10 November 2012 at 16:14 GMT

Doncaster Tesco drivers on strike, 9th November 2012, photo A Tice

Doncaster Tesco/Stobarts drivers on strike, 9th November 2012, photo A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Doncaster drivers go to war with Tesco

Alistair Tice

I've never been on a picket line like it! An armoured personnel carrier and a farmer's muckspreader blocked the gates to Doncaster Tesco's depot. Around 150 drivers, members of Unite the union, and their families joined the blockade for photographs as police stopped the traffic and scab deliveries!

All were in high spirits as this 'stunt' ended another solid three-day strike by former Tesco drivers who have been outsourced to Eddie Stobarts (forever now to be known as "Scumbarts") and face the sack by Christmas.

The greedy Tesco bosses, not content with £3.8 billion profit last year, transferred the 186 drivers to Stobarts (ESL) in August and by September ESL had given 90 days notice of redundancy.

Tesco drivers' strike, Doncaster, 9.11.12, photo by A Tice

Tesco drivers' strike, Doncaster, 9.11.12, photo by A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Stobarts drivers who are not in a trade union are on £2-50 an hour less than the Tesco drivers.

Stobarts says it doesn't need the Tesco drivers because of spare capacity in its network. That's clearly not true as on strike days ESL has had to use scab companies and agency drivers.

One of the scab firms, Taylors of Mansfield, has caused so much damage that its been sacked! And rumour has it that the Tesco operations manager has had to be brought back in because Stobarts has made such a mess of things.

This strike must be costing Stobarts hundreds of thousands of pounds what with the scab firms, agency drivers and all the security on the gates.

And Tescos doesn't like all the bad press it's getting - every strike day a coachful of strikers pays a visit to a Tesco store or two, to leaflet the shoppers and get the local press down.

Eight days of solid strike action has forced ESL back to the negotiating table. Next week's planned four day strike has been suspended for talks on Thursday and Friday.

But if ESL comes up with another 'insulting offer' like it did last time, then the drivers are prepared to go all-out over Christmas. They feel like they have nothing to lose as they're facing the sack anyway.

Doncaster Tesco drivers on strike, 9th November 2012, photo by A Tice

Doncaster Tesco drivers on strike, 9th November 2012, photo by A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Most of these drivers have given 20-plus years to the job, now they are on their fourth employer. Many are ex-miners and ex-army. Hence the tank! They have never been on strike before but are very determined and disciplined, manning the picket lines according to their shifts.

Whilst most don't expect to win their jobs back, they do want to be treated with respect and cause Tesco and "Scumbarts" as much damage as possible in the meantime.

Please send messages of support to Unite shop steward Trevor Cheetham c/o lynncheetham@yahoo.co.uk

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 10 November 2012 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

Facebook   Twitter








Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter



Related links:

Doncaster:

triangleDoncaster Care UK workers continue pay struggle

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleTrade Unionist and Socialist Coalition campaign reports

triangleCare UK workers continue dispute

triangleLocal elections 2014: A good base for TUSC to build on

Tesco:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleTesco pittance wage increase

triangleA day in the life of a supermarket worker

triangleSupermarket price wars

Drivers:

triangleWorkers striking against stingy "Zingy" bosses

triangleTrain drivers vote for action at Northern Rail

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Strike:

triangleTo comrades and friends of Dave Boyes,

triangleCondor Ferries: Fight for a living wage

Unite:

triangleEve-of-strike success for Look Ahead Unite members

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

21/7/14

Hove

Hands off Hove Park school!

20/7/14

Gaza

Stop the war on Gaza - London meetings

20/7/14

Gaza

London: huge show of solidarity

19/7/14

First World War

Lancaster public meeting: a century of war

18/7/14

Socialist

To comrades and friends of Dave Boyes,

16/7/14

Tyneside

Tyneside Safety Glass strikers' stunning victory

16/7/14

BBC

Protest outside BBC over Gaza war

16/7/14

Leicester

Leicester anti-cuts councillors join up with TUSC

16/7/14

Hackney

Eve-of-strike success for Look Ahead Unite members

16/7/14

Napo

Napo election: militant strategy can defeat privatisation

16/7/14

Ferries

Condor Ferries: Fight for a living wage

16/7/14

NUT

"Gove's a Gonner" - Striking works!

16/7/14

SWP

SWP's Marxism: absence of serious debate and strategy

16/7/14

Strike

Workplace news in brief

14/7/14

London

NSSN: Packed out London J10 post-demo meeting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Channel 4 reported that “it took them over 30 minutes to pass Nelson's column.”

triangle20 Jul London: huge show of solidarity

Tyneside Safety Glass workers celebrate pay dispute victory, July 2014, photo Elaine Brunskill

triangle16 Jul Tyneside Safety Glass strikers' stunning victory

Picketing Hackney Town Hall on 10 July 2014, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle16 Jul J10 strike success: Now build movement to end low pay

Leicester councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter, photo Leicester TUSC

triangle16 Jul Leicester anti-cuts councillors join up with TUSC

triangle16 Jul Eve-of-strike success for Look Ahead Unite members

triangle16 Jul Abuse scandals reveal abusive system

Protesting outside the Israeli embassy in London, 11.7.14, photo Paula Mitchell

triangle15 Jul No more onslaught on Gaza!

More ...

triangle22 Jul Newport Socialist Party: Gaza - what socialists say

triangle22 Jul London Socialist Party: How can the war on Gaza be stopped?

triangle22 Jul Wakefield Socialist Party: What was the USSR?

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice