Pub-goers on the Yorkshire coast could go thirsty this summer if a dispute over drivers being ask to deliver ‘unmanageable loads’ escalates to strike action, Britain and Ireland’s largest union warned today.
About 100 drivers and their mates employed by drink logistics company Tradeteam Ltd at depots in Immingham, Lincolnshire and Sheffield will be balloted for strike action from Wednesday.
Unite says that if the workers decide on industrial action it will hit drinks deliveries to pubs, bars and restaurants owned by Greene King, Mitchells & Butlers, Wetherspoons and Whitbread. The delivery of drinks brewed by Carlsberg and Coors could also be hit.
Its regional officer Harriet Eisner said: “The focus of this dispute is the delivery of unmanageable loads that is being imposed by the Tradeteam bosses which, we believe, creates serious health and safety concerns for our members.
“The employer’s failure to adhere to the planned times for deliveries, which were revised in 2018 following a previous dispute, has now led to unrealistic planned hours for drivers.
“Our members are saying they cannot achieve their deliveries safely within the time the management is now setting for them.
“The dispute affects about 100 drivers and drivers’ mates working out of the Immingham and Tinsley depots supplying drink to the pubs and clubs across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the north Midlands.
“Our members are fed up with broken promises by management. They do a demanding job in all weathers which is now being made impossible by a managerial regime hell-bent on pushing the workers to the limit of their physical endurance.
“If the strike goes ahead, pub, club and restaurant goers could be going thirsty in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the north Midlands this summer.
“But this drinks’ ‘drought’ can be avoided, if the Tradeteam management came back to the negotiating table with realistic timings for the delivery loads and a serious acknowledgement of health and safety issues that our members have raised.”