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UK truck drivers plan strike over low wages and poor working conditions | transport

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Truckers are planning a nationwide strike over working conditions, triggering warnings that they will exacerbate food shortages and neutralize countries that are already creaking supply chains.

Hauliers is offering to work from home next month in response to low wages and working conditions. This is an event designed to compound the effects of a truck driver shortage in the UK that led to a widespread stock shortage last week. But the Road Transport Association, which represents commercial road transport companies and has more than 7,000 members, has warned drivers that it will exacerbate the situation and seriously disrupt automated chains.

So far, the August 23 stay-at-home activity has 340 people joined last week and nearly 3,000 HGV drivers. Truck driver Mark Schubert said: For too many years we have been neglected, exploited and taken for granted. Now our time has come. Now we have a chance to listen.

Schubert added that he had never seen the momentum of this change in his nearly 40-year career as a driver due to a traffic jam on his way to Norwich on Friday afternoon.

We want to convey the message that drivers are utterly tired of the way their employers treat them. But people don’t seem to care about us as long as there are things on the shelves.

However, RHA’s Kate Gibbs has warned of measures that could itself increase the impact of the driver shortage due to the pandemic, which has hit the food supply chain as workers self-quarantine.

Even if 10,000 employees of 500 food distribution centers are exempted from quarantine, it does not seem to offset the current shortage of 100,000 truck drivers. Supermarkets Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys on Friday began asking their suppliers to pay extra to cover the cost of increasing pay for delivery drivers in a desperate move to offset the shortage.

Gibbs said: We understand drivers’ complaints, but bringing down tools isn’t the way forward. We don’t want to make a bad situation worse. A supply chain that works like a clock needs only the smallest to get rid of it completely.

If you think things are bad now, things will get much worse.

Last week, the government announced plans to help address the truck driver crisis, including easing driver qualifications and improving working conditions. But Schubert is among those who believe that these measures could take at least six months to take effect as they not only failed to address sector concerns, but also failed to address the threat of food shortages this summer.

He also said the impact of Brexit, which is estimated to have returned some 25,000 truck drivers to the EU, has since been highlighted by the hardline stance of the Interior Ministry. looking at the road [the home secretary] Pretty Patel and colleagues in the Department of Home Affairs are dealing with foreigners, he said, but they won’t be overly keen on returning.

Will they be treated like criminals if they arrive at the border? This problem cannot be solved overnight. Even allowing Eastern European drivers on short-term work visas, it takes six months to two years to fix.

Sources

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jul/24/lorry-drivers-plan-to-strike-over-low-pay-and-poor-working-conditions

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