Almost 3000 lorry drivers plan strike over working conditions

Suppliers warn gaps on grocery shelves will continue if the labour crisis isn't tackled
The logistics industry is facing an estimated shortfall of over 100,000 HGV drivers.
// Almost 3000 lorry drivers are planning a strike next month over low pay & their working conditions
// However, the RHA, which has more than 7000 members, warns drivers against taking action
// There are concerns a strike could compound the issues facing the UK supply chain at the moment, namely a driver shortage

The lorry driver shortage plaguing the UK at the moment is at risk of worsening amid reports that almost 3000 hauliers are planning a strike next month.

According to The Observer, the hauliers are proposing a nationwide “stay at home” day on August 23 over low pay and their working conditions.

There are concerns this could compound the issues facing the UK supply chain at the moment, which has been struck with a driver shortage thanks to a combination of Brexit and the “pingdemic”, leading to food and stock shortages for some retailers across the country.


The proposed “stay at home” action has so far attracted nearly 3000 HGV drivers, according to The Observer.

However, the Road Haulage Association, which has more than 7000 members, warned drivers against taking action.

It said it would make a “bad situation worse” and disrupt automated chains.

It comes after the government last week unveiled plans to help tackle Britain’s mounting lorry driver crisis, including easing driver qualification requirements and improved working conditions.

Ministers announced a consultation to allow drivers to take one test to drive both articulated and rigid lorries as part of a package of measures.

Other measures include giving drivers more official parking spaces and boosting standards of lorry parks to help encourage hauliers to stay in the sector.

The logistics industry, which retailers – especially grocers – rely on to transport goods to stores or warehouses, is facing an estimated shortfall of around 100,000 HGV drivers.

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter


  1. It’s because the likes of the
    RHA have done absolutely zero in the last 50 years that we find ourselves in this position… There’s been no investment in
    Drivers conditions and roadside overnight accommodation, parking refreshments for
    donkeys years.
    Wages, haulage rates etc have been low for years the driving industry has been
    Completely de skilled with non highway code knowledged overseas drivers
    On lower wages with idiot proof automatic transmission vehicles
    Keeping down the wage bill
    Until now and what do the RHA want more
    Overseas drivers!
    No RHA… investment and a complete overhaul of the goods carrying industry
    Is needed we’ve had a gutful of you lot.
    The days of cheap haulage are over..

    • Many overseas drivers are well qualified and in some ways better than us due to continental driving . Its a myth standards are lower over ‘there ‘. What is a problem for years and years poor conditions , low respect and poor hours .

    • Well said…the influx of EU drivers has pushed the hourly rate down to just above minimum wage which is disgusting and has totally de skilled our profession
      We deserve better..
      The state of our highways is unbelievable..I don’t think there is one road in this country that hasn’t got a pot hole..sunken drains…sunken dips…
      Amazingly bad cambers and warn out road tracks that can pull you from side to side..motorway service station where the truck parking is like driving your truck off road and stinks of urine with rubbish everywhere

  2. The RHA have kept wages low for years and advise hauliers of wages and conditions for the areas they operate. Its like the unions who take money but do nothing. Let’s get haulage back to where it worked and that’s when we had people with common sense and knowledge first hand and not idiots who qualify from books written by idiots who know nothing about the industry. Stop treating us like we’re lepers and show some respect because if it weren’t for lorry drivers then you wouldn’t have anything.

  3. You will be fined for leaving a dog in a car in heat wave
    However it’s ok for drivers to sleep ( if you get any) in the cab .as nobody cares about their welfare is one example of many.this is only one reason no one wants to do the job

  4. Stephen is spot on with his comments the industry has been told for years this is coming
    But it’s drunk on cheap Labour and working conditions

  5. The rha have done nothing for the drivers for years they don’t listen have no interest in driver welfare bleeting on about fat cat companies the isue is pay safety and welfare there are thousands of drivers out there that left because of poor pay and facilities now you want to through back in our faces after spending thousands on class 2 and class 1 are we going to get class2 money back I doubt it the rha need to listen to drivers or the country is doomed what makes you think new drivers are the answer how the hell are they going to navigate the roads the way an experienced driver can put the pay up increase safe parking and facilities and encourage experienced drivers back what you going to do when new drivers are lost still going to make deilvery late wake up rha

  6. I couldn’t agree more with what Stephen Dearman has said , I’m coming towards the end of my driving career after 45 years on the road . I wish I could say there has been improvement over the years but there hasn’t , and now the transport industry is in ruins .

  7. Damn right… Echo all the points above.. Rha have known for 5 years we are leaving the eu and theyve just buried their heads in the sand thinking everything will stay the same… And as for them complaining about how new ir35 regulation is giving these foreign drivers a 20% pay cut… Dont they mean to say they will now have to pay their taxes like the rest of us instead of closing their bogus ltd companies down every year

  8. Well said Stephen..The RHA don’t really have a clue otherwise things would never have got this bad. They have always made out that they are looking after the driver’s welfare, but sadly they are only looking after their own well paid jobs..

  9. Yes hgv drivers have been taken for granted with low wages and very poor conditions across the country since eu drivers came in driveing for 50 per cent less of hourly rate than before uk drivers are dogs body’s according to management i no im an hgv 1 driver down south strike must go on

    • Gravy train over now been class 1 25 years now just rise the money like you.should have 15 years ago before you got cheap labour in

    • I don’t understand why you think EU drivers drive for 50 % less they don’t where I am . The real problems are long hours , poor conditions, lack of respect and planners are clueless. Blaming immigration is an easy get out .

  10. Well said, accurate, and about time industry and government woke up to changing a culture that is not progressive.

  11. RHA and Unions have done nothing for drivers in my 50yrs of driving complete let down weve just finished with the death and carnage by foreign drivers with there farm license being recognized as hgv.We need lower working hours at least £20 an hour services and cafes are disgusting if you dont trip on sunken carparks you get food poisoning disgusting toilets and showers not to mention the ridiculous prices for parking you cant sleep with the noise the list goes on in this world of softys no young man will want the job I’ve had 2 divorces it’s a very unsociable job.

  12. The RHA is for the company’s not interested in the drivers . They are the ones who bought in periods of availability meaning the drivers waiting don’t count as there daily working . Drivers need a clear working week . None of this extra hours nonsense. And lesssnooping on your driving it is one of the most regulated jobs going and to pay £30 to park overnight is wrong on the continent it is all free.Uk drivers are treated like scum no decent free facilities and a lot of companies won’t let you use toilet facilities. The RHA want cheap foreign drivers who will live all week in the cabs and use a lay-by as a toilet and work for next to nothing. I applaud uk drivers for going on strike and hope this will bring attention to the government. WE DONT WANT FOREIGN DRIVERS


    • Go educate yourself first and then speak! Most EU drivers ask more money than UK drivers (I don’t know anyone personally who takes less) and the test in EU is even harder than in UK!
      Don’t blame it on EU drivers there’s reason why so many of them quit and returned in they countries cuz generally the industry is going down the drain!
      Long hours and pay that’s the main reason, but I guess it’s always to blame someone else and not look into problem as it is!

      • Listen, back in 2004 when the flood gates opened for EU workers to come here, it was a race to the bottom for all the uk transport companies, Wincanton/ADR both opened joint offices to recruit polish drivers, I’ve been in this industry 31 years and I’ve seen it go from bad to worse to where we are now!!

  14. I remember my dad’s words to me before he retired in 2011 aged 67 as a long serving lorry driver son do no follow my footsteps and there will be a driver shortage years to come.
    That was 22 years ago he said them words to me and I kept his promise.

    The government needs to do more to support our drivers in the industry.

  15. Retired hgv and bus driver I have been treated like shit in most of my jobs as just an arse in a seat.
    Thought about returning but why should I do this CPC
    Again?. CPC for new passes only. Glad there’s a shortage now perhaps someone will listen to drivers but I doubt it.

  16. I’ve been on the road since1987 you could earn more in 3 days work as to a week nnow standards have got worse soon as you get behind the wheel the world and its mother are out to get you for one thing or another there are more than one thing that troubles this industry and will take a lot to put right

  17. Idiots! They was told this was coming over 10 years ago when the halfwits in government brought in the unneeded CPC in 2009. They were being told back then that drivers weren’t happy with the pay and conditions. But, as usual, nothing was done and the situation deteriorated instead of improving. Now you get to reap the whirlwind of your own creating. Yes, you’ll blame the drivers. Again. But we all know who is truly to blame for this fiasco and it isn’t any virus.

  18. I don’t understand why you think EU drivers drive for 50 % less they don’t where I am . The real problems are long hours , poor conditions, lack of respect and planners are clueless. Blaming immigration is an easy get out .

  19. A complete lack of investment from councils and government have added to this issue. Developers have been allowed to build HUGE warehouses with no public facilities for truck drivers. No parking. No toilets. Nothing. A complete lack of respect.

    Large companies treat drivers and hauliers like a cheap commodity. replaceable. No respect at all. Now they are pushing to get EU drivers… they just want cheap labour and more profits.

    The RHA, they are worthless.

    The reality is coming for the British consumer, drivers wages are going to go up in a bidding war between companies.

  20. Get rid of pointless Driver CPC it’s a joke
    Pay the right money
    improve conditions
    Respect us
    DLA. Drivers lives matter (take the knee)
    I may then come out of retirement

  21. I’m so happy of the shortages. After driving for over 15 years. Time and half and double time has gone.
    People in warehouses or on Fork lift trucks get paid more than us lot.
    IR35 was another massive blow.

    I’m doing less work and companies keep begging me. Payback is sweet. I will not work more than 3 days!

  22. About time this all came to a head, its been a long time coming. It wont take 2 weeks to bring the country to a stand still, who carries 2 weeks stock in this age of just in time deliveries. As far as RHA is concerned absolute waste of space, never done anything constructive for drivers, I have actually always considered them useless. Its not just about foreign drivers, its companies being allowed to use them as a pawn to reduce salaries and conditions which is more a government issue allowing unfair practises in many aspects of the work place. It is not ok to allow an extra mtr on the lenght of a units cab to provide a better work enviroment but it is ok to add an extra mtr on a trailer to reduce costs of transport. Off course the young blood are not going to enter the industry, who would want to spend there lives cramped up in a tin box being abused at every opportunity by other road users, distribution center staff and anyone else that can get in on the act, that is all aside from relying on laybys as toilet facilities.After 43 yrs of being on the road both in UK domestic and European Im glad to be out. I support the drivers even it if does mean shortages, maybe people will begin to realise the importance of this under valued workforce. It really is time to change, nurses, cleaners, carers drivers the list goes on ,without them, well lets see !

  23. I started driving class 2 payed for my licence myself 2008 wages were low only if I looked fist at the wages tried it got treated and spoken to like an idiot I didn’t stand for it and went back building engines. Thought I would get treated better as class 1 driver did my test paid by myself worked as a Ltd driver in 2018 until now IR35 came into affect and I’m down £3 an hour now company’s say take it or leave it just a number now in a seat treated like s**t start times change everyday and it could be 15hours later when you finish your shift only to do this three days in a row. My cpc has just come up for renewal I asked my agency in help booking a course or even paying for my course or paying for my day being at a course they washed there hands of it didn’t want to know. Ask the company whom I’ve been working for on and off for 3 years as I work for them as PAYE through an agency they would help either in anyway shape or form. So I’ve just paid £180 for four days cpc training to get my 35 hours also paid £19 for a new driver card . So I’ve paid out this and had to take 4 days off out of my own holiday hrs so lost 4 days holiday and didn’t get paid so my agency didn’t want to help and my work place didn’t want to help .As a driver there is only so much you can take . Taken for granted is an understatement in this industry. The job is a life style not a job. Under paid miss treated in so many ways . I love driving but if things don’t change are be doing something else and never coming back I don’t want to but my hand is being forced I feel.

  24. Totally agree, this needs to stop ,I have been driving for over 35 years , hear and Europe and l can honestly say the conditions r the worst I have seen .The large supermarkets every year bosting about profits in the billions , but still think its OK to treat us like Dogs , cutting contractors rates every year , they need to be punished . The general public have no idea of the hours we work and then they wonder why there r accidents ,most drivers in this country will get around 4 to 5 hours sleep due to the long hours and commuting to and from work . The RHA r fully aware of this, also the unions and govement but do nothing to support us .
    This country needs 1 strong Drivers Union

  25. The R H A advise against the strike as it will make the situation worse. thats the idea of a strike make people pay attention to what it is we actually do. The public treat us like crap. They don’t let you out at busy junctions they all too busy going shopping but they don’t realise the goods they want are in my trailer. Now they want to get visa s for eu truckers again thinking that will solve the problem it won’t because all the drivers I am seeing lately are at long last seeing wages going upwards. at long last because the eu drivers have gone elsewhere since ir35 brexit and covid so if they open up the flood gates to foreign drivers again and wages get dropped I for one will be throwing my keys in . It looks well when you can earn more throwing shopping into a basket on aldi s tills than you can driving the truck that brought the goods to the supermarket in the first place

  26. I’ve been driving lorries for 23 straight years. By the end of this year I’m going to quit and set up my own company. Not just the roads and poor wages. But other road users and bog standard lorries. No air con and badly designed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here