Scheming management at Tesco tried to break the lawful strike action by distribution drivers based at Livingston, West Lothian, by offering big cash sums and a free stay at a quality hotel in Lothians to drivers at Cumbria based firm Eddie Stobbart. The Tesco drivers and warehouse staff are due to strike this coming weekend, a bank holiday, after bosses refused to recognise the T&G Unite section of the union. Negotiations broke down earlier this month, as Socialist Appeal reported, when Tesco announced plans to move distribution to a new plant and under this cover impose new conditions on drivers that would have seen workers lose up to £6,000 a year.
According to The Scotsman the drivers at Eddie Stobbart were offered wages and bonuses totalling more than £2000 for working 3 x 12 hour shifts in addition to free hotel accomodation, food and drink. The paper said that when drivers at Eddie Stobbart were informed by the T&G that they were to be used to try and break the strike, they "all agreed to drop out and support the Livingston drivers".
This episode is proving highly embarrassing for Tesco. Instead of sitting down with the representatives of the union and working out a solution, mangement were sneaking around trying to use and abuse Eddie Stobbart drivers to break the lawful strike by their own innocent workers. What an indictement on the ethics of one of the world's most powerful companies!
The Unite section of the T&G representing the Tesco workers who voted 126-6 for strike action, issued this statement: "This was an attempt to break a lawful and wholly justifiable strike with grubby money and bully boy tactics but it seems they have been seen off by the good sense, selflessness and solidarity of drivers who knew the price they would pay for their bit of Scottish luxury was the jobs of their colleagues. It's days like this we can be proud to be trade unionists and hold our heads high".