Great Britain

Lorry drivers offered £70k-a-year and £2,000 joining bonus as recruiters scramble to lure truckers with mega pay deals

LORRY drivers are being offered up to £70k-a-year and £2,000 joining bonuses in order to take up delivery roles for major UK supermarkets.  

Recruiters from companies, such as Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s, are luring truckers with the mega pay deals as the nation faces a huge shortfall of 100,000 drivers.

It has meant that those experienced in the profession have been offered astronomical pay rises for their services in order to keep supermarkets fully stocked.

A trucker called Barry, who has been behind the wheel for 17 years, claimed that he was approached by agents to sigh a two year contract with a £2,000 signing on bonus.

Talking to BBC 5 Live he said he was offered five night shifts a week with time-and-a-half for Saturdays and double-pay for Sundays.

“In this industry, that is unheard of,” Barney said.

“I mean my boss doesn't even earn that. They are really looking for supermarket delivery drivers to do weekends, and the money is astronomical.'

Barney added that the unnamed agency that offered him the job would have been including Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

In July the latter was offering £1,000 bonus to lorry drivers who join the company before the end of September.

But, James Bielby, who is the Chief Executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, warned that that the crisis will ultimately lead to higher prices for consumers.

“You've got agencies and logistics specialists making a lot of money out of this crisis,' he told BBC Five Live.”

“It's not sustainable, no. Because it will mean ultimately that the cost of goods is going up." 

It has prompted, Nick Allen British Meat Processors Association chief executive, to warn that disruption could continue into 2022 as supermarkets ran out of certain seasonal items during the summer months.

He told The Independent that supermarket shelves were looking "ragged" and that this is "going to become the norm".

While Iceland boss Richard Walker warned Christmas could be cancelled if the crisis continues.

And now Steve Murrells, who is the chief Co-op Group chief said current shortages are at the "worse level" he's ever seen.

“This won't be solved in isolation, this is a global issue where the supply chain has completely broken down,' he told Reuters on Thursday.

“You can't solve (a shortage of) 90,000 HGV drivers in isolation, it needs a structural change,” he said.

On Wednesday Tory-MP Michael Gove, announced that he will lead the UK government's response to the crisis.

He pledged to join industry calls for HGV drivers to be added to the shortage occupation list so foreign workers can plug the gap.

Supermarket pingdemic shortages – empty shelves hit shops as people urged not to panic buy

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