Home Business News Christmas chaos is looming as Unite union leaders threaten largest lorry strike since 1979

Christmas chaos is looming as Unite union leaders threaten largest lorry strike since 1979

by LLB staff reporter
15th Oct 21 10:38 am

Leaders at the UK’s largest union Unite are threatening the largest lorry strike since 1979 and have been accused of holding “Christmas hostage.”

The union have said that they are looking to launch national “coordinated strikes before January” unless lorry drivers demands for higher pay and better conditions are met, the Telegraph has reported.

The union represents more than 50,000 HGV drivers are warning to call ballot which will see thousands of supermarket lorry drivers strike over the festive period.

The union are demanding that new HGV drivers to be paid £50,000 a year and want the temporary rules for drivers to work ten hour days to be scrapped.

Unite are also demanding the government provides more truck stops with catering facilities and clean toilets.

The Telegraph reported, Adrian Jones, Unite’s national officer for road transport said, “Drivers have had enough.

“Our members need proper facilities, fair pay and respect. HGV drivers are the blood in the body of our economy.

“We will not hesitate to cut that supply off if the Government and the employers refuse to do what is necessary.

“We have made this point to ministers and officials repeatedly – but they have not made any firm commitments, even though they know what needs to be done.”

However the current laws does prevent the union to launch strikes and looking into plans to skirt old legal laws.

Jones warned, “We are now looking at coordinated strikes before January if we do not get those commitments from the Government and employers.

“We will not shy away from that.”

“Clearly the fragility of the supply chain is an opportunity for us.

“Our members are now in the driving seat.

“They have the power.

“That’s why they are more confident and brave in their demands.”

A government spokesman said in response to Unite’s threats, “It would be reckless for unions to hold Christmas hostage and damage the work being done to restore supply chains at this vital time of year.

“We have already taken immediate action to increase the supply of HGV drivers, streamline the testing process and improve working conditions.

“We are pleased employers are working towards long-term solutions through improved testing and hiring, with better pay and working conditions, and will continue to support them to do so.”

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