Tesco warns shortages could result in panic buying at Christmas

Tesco agrees to reopen talks with Usdaw after members in nine distribution centres vote overwhelmingly to strike in disputes over pay
If the strike goes ahead more than half of Tesco’s 22 distribution centres will be impacted.
// Tesco warns of panic buying in the run-up to Christmas due to national shortage of HGV drivers
// The grocer revealed last week it has a shortfall of 800 lorry drivers

Tesco has warned the government that customers will likely be panic buying ahead of Christmas unless urgent action is taken to address the shortage of HGV drivers.

In a meeting organised by the Cabinet Office last Thursday, the Big 4 grocer said it has a shortfall of 800 lorry drivers and urged the government to temporarily make it easier to bring in workers from abroad.

Tesco has been offering new recruits bonuses of £1000 since July. It is among a number of leading retailers that have been selected by government to find a solution to the labour crisis.

READ MORE: Tesco lorry drivers and warehouse workers reject pay offer, union reveals

However, the grocer’s UK distribution and fulfilment director, Andrew Woolfenden said Tesco has only managed to attract as many drivers as it has lost to rival businesses over the summer.

Woolfenden said the problem was industry-wide and described attempts by companies to recruit from the same, limited pool of drivers as like “moving deckchairs around”.

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