BRITS face a beer drought — just as the sizzling summer barbecue and summer sports season starts — because of a looming lorry drivers’ strike.
Deliveries across a vast swathe of the country, including the north and the Midlands, are under threat, trade union chiefs warned.
About 100 truckers and workers at drinks logistics firm Tradeteam will ballots this week amid complaints they are carrying “unmanageable loads”.
If the draymen down tools it is feared the beer pumps at some of Britain’s biggest pub chains could run dry.
Crucially the Europa League and Champions League finals are coming up, the crisis could not come at a worse time.
The company supplies pub giants including JD Wetherspoon, Greene King, Whitbread and Mitchells & Butlers.
If the strike goes ahead, pub, club and restaurant-goers could be going thirsty
Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner
Beers affected by potential strike action include top-selling tipples Carlsberg, Carling, Sharp’s Doom Bar, Cobra and Coors Light.
Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner said Tradeteam staff have complained their workload is too heavy and poses a health and safety risk.
She said: “If the strike goes ahead, pub, club and restaurant-goers could be going thirsty in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the north Midlands this summer.
“But this drinks ‘drought’ can be avoided if the Tradeteam management came back to the negotiating table with realistic timings for the delivery loads and a serious acknowledgement of health and safety issues that our members have raised.”
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Ms Eisner added: “The employer’s failure to adhere to the planned times for deliveries, which were revised in 2018 following a previous dispute, has now led to unrealistic planned hours for drivers.
“Our members are saying they cannot achieve their deliveries safely within the time the management is now setting for them.” A spokesman for DHL Supply Chain, Tradeteam’s operator, said: “We are disappointed that Unite is balloting its members on industrial action.
“Talks are continuing with the aim of reaching a satisfactory outcome for all parties at the earliest opportunity.”
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