Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has suspended strikes due to begin at the end of this week, on the North West Walkers’, crisps contract, as the worker’s employer Eddie Stobart, has agreed to recognise the union and to undertake further talks on outstanding matters.

Strikes suspended

The first strike of the workers who are based in Warrington, was due to begin this Friday (31 May) until Tuesday 4 June, with a further strike from Friday 7 June until Tuesday 11 June, which would have resulted in a crisps’ famine in the North West.

The dispute was a result of Eddie Stobart refusing to recognise Unite, following the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment regulations (TUPE) transfer of the lorry drivers from Walkers last year. Since that time Eddie Stobart had refused to enter into negotiations on pay and conditions with Unite.

Valid recognition agreement

However following lengthy negotiations on Friday (28 May), Eddie Stobart’s management conceded that Unite did have a valid recognition agreement and that further talks would be held to discuss all outstanding matters.

As a result of the acceptance of Unite’s recognition deal and the agreement to further negotiations, Unite suspended the strike action as a gesture of goodwill.

Lengthy negotiations

Unite regional officer Steve Gerrard said: “Following lengthy negotiations Eddie Stobart conceded that Unite has a right to represent the workers on the North West Walkers’ crisps contract.

“As a gesture of goodwill Unite has suspended the current strike action to allow for further negotiations on the outstanding issues regarding the pay and conditions of the drivers.

“Providing further progress can be made at future negotiations, Unite hopes to be in a position to end this dispute.

“Unite made clear from the outset that this dispute could be resolved through Eddie Stobart entering into meaningful talks and this is proving to be the case.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

North West facing crisp famine as Warrington based Eddie Stobart drivers on Walker crisp contract announce strikes

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.