Stobart's ex-Tesco drivers balloted for industrial action

Unite members at Tesco’s former Doncaster DC, which was taken over by Stobart Group this month, will be balloted for industrial action next week.

Unite attacked Stobart earlier this month for refusing to “declare its hand” until at least September, in regards the future of around 200 drivers that transferred across to the logistics firm.

The ballot, to be held on 29 August, includes industrial action up to an out-right strike.

Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner says its members are concerned about job security, but also angry about the financial implications of the transfer, which affects both their pensions and access to Tesco’s employee share scheme.

However, ahead of the transfer David Pickering, Eddie Stobart MD, said: "Once the operation at Tesco Doncaster has transferred across to Eddie Stobart, we will conduct a full assessment to understand how the resource can integrate into our network, and we will undertake a full review and staff consultation before any changes are made."

Mackay gets O-licence despite Brora links

Civil engineering haulage specialist Edward Mackay Contractor has been granted an O-licence following a public inquiry which examined its links with revoked haulier Brora Transport.

In a written decision following a June public inquiry in Inverness, Joan Aitken, Traffic Commissioner (TC) for Scotland, allowed the application from the Sutherland-based firm for four vehicles and two trailers, subject to a condition that the firm cannot apply for an increase in vehicle authorisation within the first two years.

Edward Mackay senior's limited company Edward Mackay went into liquidation in 2007.

In March 2010 he made an application in the name of Edward Mackay Contractor for six vehicles and six trailers, but did not tell the TC's office about the liquidation because he did not realise he had to do so.

The TC's office in Leeds incorrectly took the view that a false declaration might have been made, and MacKay senior withdrew the application in May 2010. 

However, the same month Mackay's grandsons Scott and Liam Mackay applied for an O-licence for a new company Brora Transport.

Brora was granted an O-licence in August 2010 subject to a finance condition.

However, following a PI, Aitken revoked its licence in October 2011 saying that the vehicles were being operated using the finances of Edward Mackay Contractor or Edward Mackay senior and that were no funds in Brora Transport that could be called its own.

Mackay senior had wrongly told his grandsons they could operate the company through him giving financial guarantees, and him paying the fuel bills and drivers' wages.

In October 2011, on the day the Brora Transport licence was revoked, Edward Mackay Contractor submitted a new application for a licence with Mackay senior and his son Eddie Mackay as transport managers. 

Edward Mackay Contractor had secured a major contract with Scottish and Southern Energy as part of the Beauly to Denny transmission line upgrade as well as on the Diageo distillery contract at Invergordon.

At the PI, Mackay senior told the TC that since the revocation of the Brora Transport licence, his HGVs had been parked up.

He was able to show from documents that he had spent £197,000 on sub-contracting vehicles and drivers from a total of 10 Scottish hauliers from October to May 2012.

Mackay senior had also attended an Freight Transport Association O-licence awareness training course in April 2012 to educate himself about new legislative developments in transport.

However, Aitken issued a warning to him and his son as to their respective reputes.