Lorry drivers across the UK are planning a nationwide strike over their working conditions, prompting warnings of severe disruption to already strained supply chains.
Hauliers have proposed a ‘stay at home’ day next month in response to low pay and working terms, a strike designed to compound the effect of a lorry driver shortage that has contributed to wide spread stock shortages across all industries.
The Road Haulage Association has urged drivers against taking action saying it would make a “bad situation worse” and severely disrupt supply chains. However, the “stay at home” action planned for the 23 August has attracted nearly 3,000 HGV drivers with another 340 joining over the past week.
“For far too many years we have been ignored exploited and taken for granted. Now our time has come, now we have a window of opportunity to be listened to,” lorry driver Mark Schubert told The Guardian. “We are trying to send a message that drivers are thoroughly fed up with the way they are treated by employers. Yet as long as stuff’s on the shelf, people don’t seem to give a damn about us.”
Supermarkets Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are reported to have already asked suppliers for extra payments to cover the costs of raising wages for delivery drivers in a desperate move to offset current shortages.