Great Britain

Aldi join Tesco in drastic attempt to tackle empty supermarket shelves

Aldi has announced a salary increase for its lorry drivers in an effort combat the ongoing driver shortage leading to empty supermarket shelves.

The move follows Tesco offering a £1,000 joining bonus fee to lorry drivers amid staffing pressures on UK supermarkets.

The payment, which applies to new starters who join from July 14 until September 30, appears on various advertisements for HGV driver roles on the food retailer’s website.

Now, according to reports in The Sunday Times, The German supermarket has increased its lorry driver wages to address the shortage of HGV drivers.

The generous offer from two of the UK’s ‘big six’ supermarkets comes after supermarkets had to reassure customers that there was no need to panic buy following pictures of half-empty shelves and reports of temporary shortages.

A “perfect storm” of aggravating factors was blamed for the situation, including self-isolating workers and prior staff shortages.

Retailers are under “increasing pressure” to keep shelves fully stocked amid staff shortages, industry bosses have warned.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) warned that staff shortages, caused by large numbers of workers self-isolating after being pinged by the NHS Covid-19 app, was “putting increasing pressure on retailers’ ability to maintain opening hours and keep shelves stocked”.

The government has since introduced emergency measures which it says will protect food supplies, allowing thousands of workers to avoid the need to self-isolate if identified as a contact of a Covid case.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) previously said it believes there is a shortfall of about 60,000 haulage drivers in the UK after around 30,000 HGV driving tests did not take place last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hauliers blamed the shortage on a large proportion of drivers being foreign nationals from European countries who had returned to the EU, combined with truck drivers not being included on the Government’s list of skilled labour, leaving new arrivals needing immigration paperwork.

Tesco and Aldi previously assured shoppers it had plenty of food and all grocers urged customers to shop as normal.

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