MAYOR of Doncaster Peter Davies has criticised Eddie Stobart for sponsoring the Stobart Doncaster Cup Day at the St Leger horse racing festival, at the same time that the haulage firm is making more than 180 delivery drivers in the town redundant.
At the St Leger races earlier this month, drivers who have already voted for strike action turned out at Doncaster Racecourse with placards and flags and handed leaflets to racegoers.
All 183 lorry drivers’ jobs at the Tesco distribution centre in Doncaster have been placed at risk of redundancy, after Tesco transferred the posts to Eddie Stobart in August.
Mayor Davies, a keen racegoer who was at the event, said it was “somewhat odd to say the least” that Eddie Stobart had chosen to sponsor part of the St Leger.
He added: “They were chucking money around, promoting themselves as great supporters of Doncaster, in a week when they were making 183 people redundant.
“We can do without support of this kind.
“It seems to me that people in Doncaster have a right to expect that a company which wants to ally itself with one of the town’s most prestigious events should have a greater understanding of the workforce of that town.
“The workers who have been treated in this disgusting way have my complete support and sympathy.”
Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner said that the trade union wants Eddie Stobart to “reconsider their position and keep these men on.”
A spokesman for Eddie Stobart said yesterday: “Stobart Group sponsors various racedays throughout the country and committed to a 2012 programme with Doncaster Racecourse at the end of 2011.
“The Stobart Doncaster Cup is unrelated and unconnected to the transport operations at Doncaster.”
The firm has previously said that the “reorganisation of operations” in Doncaster is “necessary to achieve a cost-effective, efficient and sustainable solution while still delivering an excellent standard of service.”