Lorry driver shortages discussed by political activist
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The passionate video from June Slater set about a brutal takedown of the treatment of lorry drivers during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond as thousands were barred from accessing proper toilet facilities, hot food, and basic amenities as service stations shut their doors. Ms Slater launched a defence of the highly skilled profession, which was vital during the pandemic, claiming the industry has seen “80,000” drivers depart in search of better pay and working hours as the profession enters a shortage of drivers with more strikes threatened.
She said: “Your lorry driver shortage isn’t anything to do with Brexit, it’s a lack of respect for a highly skilled job.
“There are 80,000 lorry drivers currently in Great Britain doing other work because it is better pay and better hours!”
The vlogger went on to say how the Coronavirus lockdown “proved how valuable these people are to us” as lorry drivers were key workers throughout lockdown.
But she slammed how yet “we close the services down on them so they couldn’t go for a pee in a urinal” as she laid out the supposed lack of respect politicians have towards drivers.
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She went on to outline further disrespect for the profession, branding how the drivers could not wash their hands, have showers, or have access to hot food as a result of service station closures despite working in the midst of Coronavirus.
Despite the difficulties faces, Ms Slater claimed drivers were still charged “£35 a night” to do their job staying overnight.
The vlogger then went on to slam the chaos at the ferry ports over Christmas 2020 which forced thousands of lorry drivers to be confined to their cabs due to enormous delays, with many missing Christmas with their families and unable to access proper food and toilet facilities.
She blamed the chaotic delays not on Brexit but on the political back and forth which took place between French President Emmanuel Macron and the government for the queues, slamming it as the result of “nothing more than political spite” from Mr Macron.
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Ms Slater added: “Lorry drivers have left the trade because we haven’t looked after them.”
She also pegged the blame on the idea that “huge corporations have put profit before people” for more of the shortages, resulting in an exodus from the profession.
Her comments come as union leaders peg the blame on a brutal combination of Covid, Brexit, years of a lack of investment in the industry and the poor conditions many drivers have been subjected to over the past year.
The news comes as fresh threats of strike action by 40 lorry drivers at Booker distribution network, which is part of Tesco, and more than 200 drivers and engineers from cement producer Hanson could plunge Britain into its worst supply chain crisis since the 1970s.
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The earmarked action comes amid furious disputes over pay and working conditions following 18-months of hell for lorry drivers as they battled to continue working over the pandemic.
Union leaders have also warned the pay disputes risk deepening the supply shortage crisis hitting many parts of the British economy.
Drivers at Booker voted unanimously for strike action in a dispute over pay that could halt the supply of products to over 1,500 stores in London and the southeast, while action from Hanson’s drivers could plunge major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Hinckley Point into total chaos.
Hanson’s drivers working on the Castle Cement contract have already rejected a pay offer and are set to hold a ballot for strike action.
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