Thursday, May 24, 2007

Truck Drivers Unite Against Tesco In Scotland!

In a great show of solidarity, Eddie Stobart drivers have refused to scab on their Tesco counterparts and deliver supplies to Scottish supermarkets this bank holiday weekend. The 150 Tesco drivers - who supply nearly 100 stores in Scotland - are on strike against the company's outrageous demands.

Tesco made £2.5 billion last year, but that wasn't enough. They caused this confrontation by seeking to derecognise the drivers' union (UNITE), a move the unions says would have cost many drivers £3,000 or more per year.

In self-defence, the drivers voted 126 to 6 for strike action from Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th May.

Tesco then offered Eddie Stobart workers £500 on top of their normal wages, plus food, drink and accommodation in a top hotel, to take on the deliveries. However, they apparently didn't mention anything about the strike.

One worker at Eddie Stobart’s headquarters in Carlisle said, “I know of at least 11 people who were offered an incentive bonus to go and work for Tesco during the strike. They all agreed but they were not told they would be strike-breaking.

“When union reps contacted them, they all agreed to drop out in support of the Livingston drivers. They are giving absolute assurance that they will not cross that picket line.”

Tony Trench, a T&G officer in Edinburgh, said, “We are humbly grateful to these guys who have turned down such large sums of money to support their comrades.”

Tesco drivers across Britain have declared support for the Scottish drivers, and a nationwide strike seems likely. Clearly, many drivers recognise that derecognition for the Scottish distributors will affect their own deals when they come up for renewal.

Livingston MP Jim Devine has called for a one day boycott of Tesco stores, but this is not the way to go for two reasons. Firstly, Tesco are no better or worse than any of the other supermarkets; they may currently be the biggest in the UK, but the profit motive is the same for all of them. Secondly, it's no good taking any action for just one day and then allowing the exploitative bastards to get on with it!

Wherever we work, the bosses want to get more work out of us for less money. They are forced into this race for the bottom, because the so-called 'free market' pits each against all, on an international level. As always, working class solidarity is vital if the the bosses are to be beaten.
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