Booker faces HGV driver strike action

HGV drivers at the Tesco-owned Booker Distribution network are threatening strike action over pay and conditions.

Around 40 HGV drivers at the Booker Thamesmead site have voted unanimously to strike in a dispute over pay. This risks severe disruption to an already overstretched supply chain, and will affect more than 1,500 small shops that operate under the Londis and Budgens brands across London and the South East.

Unite, the trade union representing these drivers and other groups that have voted for strike action, said the disputes reflected issues with working conditions and pay.

The action is over a £5 an hour uplift in pay offered to 40 drivers at the Booker Hemel Hempstead depot due to staff shortages. This was not offered to drivers at Thamesmead, just 50 miles away.

Paul Travers, a Unite regional officer, said the dispute had been “pockmarked by very poor employment relations” with the company. “This is really ‘smell the coffee’ time for the bosses at Booker.”

A Booker spokesman said: “We are naturally disappointed with last week’s ballot result from our Thamesmead drivers but look forward to sitting down with their Unite representatives on 21 September and working together to find a resolution.”