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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 November 2013

Tesco drivers fight on

Alistair Tice

One year after being unfairly sacked, 183 ex-Tesco drivers will march again in Doncaster on Saturday 16 November.

The demonstration is to expose how Stobart Group, the haulage firm that Tesco out-sourced the drivers' work to, tore up the Tupe (Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of Employment) regulations and made the drivers redundant within four months of transfer.

Tupe is supposed to protect workers' jobs and terms and conditions when they are transferred from one employer to another, but increasingly employers like "Scumbarts" are getting round them and the Con-Dem government wants to water down the regulations even further.

Last autumn, the drivers, all Unite members, waged an inspiring campaign involving 15 days of strike action, leafleting Tesco stores, and a mass picket and blockade (including a tank!) of the Doncaster Tesco distribution centre that lasted three days and two nights.

While not winning their jobs back, it was this militant action that forced the bosses to double the redundancy pay. But the workers have not just left it at that. Unite is currently pursuing a legal challenge against Stobart over the unfair dismissal of the drivers and for a protective award for lack of proper consultation during the Tupe process. The hearing is scheduled for February 2014.

Trevor Cheetham, the Unite senior shop steward during last year's strike said: "If we don't win this, then Tupe might as well stand for "Tory Union-busting, Persecution of Employees"!

Saturday's demonstration will start at 11am from Doncaster Rovers car park which is near the distribution centre, march through Doncaster town centre and back for a rally. Other workers recently privatised, such as prison officers at Doncaster prisons and Royal Mail have been invited to support.

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In The Socialist 13 November 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Government set back over Independent Living Fund

NHS crumbling in Con-Dem Britain

Benefit sanction figures expose Tory lies

Abolish the bedroom tax

Labour blocks living wage

Them & Us


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC: We need councillors who refuse to implement cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

BAE takes the axe to shipyards: Defend every job

Nationalise to defend the shipyards

Portsmouth BAE workers rally to defend all jobs

Probation officers plan more action

Tesco drivers fight on

Vote for Martin Powell-Davies

Blacklist Support Group demonstrates

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

US election campaigns: Socialists make history

Sri Lanka: spotlight on a blood-stained regime


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A small victory for democratic rights

Young workers say: Zero hours no way!

Socialism 2013 feedback

South African socialist speaks in South Wales

TUSC film showing - Riot from Wrong


Socialist Party reviews

Russell Brand - reasons to be cheerful

Play review: Sandpits Avenue/League of St George


 

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