Lorry drivers and warehouse workers employed by Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) are demanding urgent answers as the future of the company hangs in the balance.
ESL is understood to be in financial difficulties and trading in its shares were suspended in August.
The company has in principle accepted a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Isle of Man based venture capitalists Douglas Bay Capital (Dbay) for 51 per cent of the company.
However other major logistics companies are understood to be interested in the purchase of ESL but their bids are being hampered by a lack of financial disclosure by the company.
ESL provide logistics solutions for customers including Tesco, Pepsi Co, Nestle, Cooperative, Argos, Coca Cola, Crown Cork & Seal, SCA, Unilever, Britvic, AG Barr, Dobbies, BSW Timber, Amazon, Johnson & Johnson and Heineken.
Unite is seeking reassurances about jobs and demanding a meeting with ESL about the firm’s future but the union’s correspondence and requests have been ignored by the company.
The Unite members and activists employed by ESL met in Salford on Saturday, November 23 to discuss the widely reported difficulties facing the company.
Unite national officer Adrian Jones said, “Unite members are extremely concerned that the boardroom games being played by Stobart’s which are putting our members’ jobs at significant risk. As well as endangering the transport supply chain for many major companies.
“Our members deserve to know what the future holds and not be a pawn in a game being played by financiers in the shady world of venture capitalism.
“We demand that the board meet with Unite representatives to give clear guarantees that jobs are not at risk.
Frank Robson, chair of Unite National Combine, added, “Unite appreciates that an offer has been made for a majority shareholding by Dbay that includes an immediate investment of £55m, however we are also aware that there are other interested parties that may be considering an offer for the company.
“Unite members believe that the board has acted prematurely in signing an agreement with Dbay before any other party has been provided with the financial information to formulate its potential offer.”
ESL has organised a shareholders meeting to discuss the Dbay offer on Friday, December 6 in London.
Unite has approximately 1,000 members working for ESL in driving and warehouse roles.