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HGV drivers threaten Booker with action over pay

A BALLOT for strike action by HGV drivers at Booker Retail Partners could hit deliveries to 1,500 grocery franchises across London and south-east England, hauliers’ union Unite warned today.

The company has been paying a temporary £5 hourly uplift to drivers at its Hemel Hempstead depot as a result of staff shortages, but has refused to do so for those who work from its Thamesmead site in south-east London.

The Thamesmead drivers, who deliver to franchise brands including Londis, Budgens and Premier, will be balloted for industrial action including strikes. 

Accusing Booker of “burying its head in the sand,” Unite regional officer Paul Travers said: “We are facing a serious HGV driver shortage across Britain — a ‘perfect storm’ in the worst possible way.

“We are calling for serious talks with the management to resolve this issue — our door is open for talks 24/7.”

A Booker spokesperson said: “The industry shortage of HGV drivers has created some distribution challenges but we're doing everything we can to ensure customers can get the products they need.

“We are working closely with our suppliers, our colleagues at our distribution centres and Unite to manage the issue and find the best way forward.”

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