According to the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G), the retailer gave Scottish drivers an ultimatum to sign to cuts or be sacked. Drivers at Livingston, near Edinburgh, were told they had to sign up to new working conditions or face losing their jobs, after news that the depot is transferring to a new location 500 yards down the road.
In response, Livingston drivers are striking for three days, starting this Thursday, which will affect about 100 Tesco stores in Scotland. The union said drivers had voted by 126 to 6 to strike. According to a T&G spokesman, the dispute is about two main issues: a loss of pay as a result of the move and the loss of union recognition.
T&G national secretary for transport Ron Webb said: 'Our shop stewards see the attack on the Scottish drivers as the first shot in a national attack by the company.'
A Tesco spokesman called this 'complete rubbish' and said half the workers had signed to the new working conditions. The spokesman added: 'There are also three T&G representatives among the Tesco drivers, but two have signed. So, two out of the three T&G reps won't even be involved in the strike.'
A T&G spokesman has slammed Tesco's response as 'complete nonsense'. He said about 40 workers have signed to Tesco's ultimatum, but emphasised that this was 'under duress'. He agreed that two stewards have signed, but said that they subsequently resigned and were then immediately replaced. The spokesman added that there is nothing to stop the workers from striking, whether they've agreed to the conditions or not.
The union said they have written to Tesco and are awaiting a response.