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UNITE is backing a grassroots campaign by HGV drivers to “take a break” in a bid to restore “safety, decency and dignity” to the road haulage sector.
The initiative, announced on the penultimate day of the union’s policy conference in Liverpool today, will see Unite support the #TruckedOff initiative which is encouraging drivers to take their statutory rest break at 11am on November 1.
The action will take place days after Tory ministers are expected to make another extension to the maximum daily hours drivers can work, amid an ongoing supply chain crisis.
Unite members have slammed the repeated extensions as “irresponsible, quite possibly illegal and counter-productive” for an industry that is missing at least 100,000 drivers due to years of declining wages and deteriorating working conditions.
Union chair Tony Woodhouse, a former lorry driver, said: “HGV drivers are sick and tired, sick and tired of poor pay, no pensions and longer working hours.
“Drivers are urged to park up at 11 am on Monday, November 1.
“By taking their legal break, they will highlight that nothing is being done to address the dreadful employment conditions in a sector that’s at the heart of our economy.”
Unite also launched its call for sectoral bargaining — used across the economy including for the NHS and local government — to be restored to the road haulage industry.
Unite shop steward and HGV driver Davy McCord said: “HGV and professional driving is cut-throat, unstable and lurching from crisis to crisis.
“Only with a firm floor to prevent pay, pensions and conditions being under persistent attack can we bring some order to the chaos.”
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