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“Crisp famine” looms as lorry drivers strike, claims union

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SUPERMARKETS, pubs and corner shops in the North West are facing a crisp famine as members of the Unite union, employed as lorry drivers by Eddie Stobart in Warrington on the Walkers Crisp contract have announced strike action.
The dispute is a result of the Unite members being transferred from Walkers Snack Foods to Eddie Stobart last year under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE) regulations.
Unite say that since the transfer Stobart’s management has refused to honour the existing industrial agreement that protects workers’ pay and conditions.
Due to the management’s refusal to engage with Unite, workers had no option but to ballot for strike action in order to protect their rights. On a turnout of 95.2 per cent, workers recorded a 100 per cent yes vote for strike action.
Following the ballot result, Eddie Stobart has continued to refuse to engage with Unite.
As a result, Unite has announced two periods of strikes, the first will begin on Friday May 31 until Tuesday June 4 and the second is from Friday June 7 until Tuesday June 11. There will also be an overtime ban in place on Thursday May 30, Wednesday June 5, Thursday June 6 and Wednesday June 12.
Unite regional officer Steve Gerrard, said: “The North West of England is facing a crisp famine directly as a result of the high handed actions of Eddie Stobart’s management.
“Eddie Stobart is refusing to honour the long standing legal industrial agreements that protect our members pay and conditions.
“Workers aren’t going to stand idly by and allow their hard won rights to be demolished.
“Unite has made numerous attempts to engage with Eddie Stobart to resolve this dispute and has been continually rebuffed.
“This strike is entirely of Stobart’s own making and they can resolve the dispute by agreeing to meaningful negotiations with Unite.”

A Walkers spokesperson said: “We are not facing a supply issue. Our customers will continue to receive their orders as planned.”

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