North West facing crisp famine as Warrington based Eddie Stobart drivers on Walkers crisps contract announce strikes
- Tuesday 21 May 2019
Supermarkets, pubs and corner shops in the North West of England are facing a crisp famine as members of Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest 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. 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 31 May until Tuesday 4 June and the second is from Friday 7 June until Tuesday 11 June. There will also be an overtime ban in place on Thursday 30 May, Wednesday 5 June, Thursday 6 June and Wednesday 12 June.
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.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.