Manufacturer boosts driver pay to retain staff

The
UK’s leading wheelbarrow manufacturer has had to boost truck drivers pay by
£100 a week in an effort to recruit and retain staff.

Chillington
Manufacturing, has increased drivers wages to £412.50 per week, and the
Transport and General Workers’ Union say this highlights the skills crisis
currently facing the transport industry.

John
Walsh, T&G Regional Industrial Organiser for the Black Country said for
several months management at the Walsall-based company had tried to recruit
Class 1 LGV drivers but to no avail. 
"Agency drivers had been used but the professionalism and
commitment just was not there," he said.

Driver
turnover was high and as a consequence a deal was struck increasing the
salaries of the

seven
existing T&G drivers.

Walsh
said the industry faces a shortage of 80,000 drivers and warned that the  pressure will only increase with the advent
of the Working Time Directive due to be implemented in 2005.

"The
transport industry needs to start working now to train, recruit and retain
drivers. In order to do so the industry must now recognise that the days of
drivers coming cheap are rapidly nearing an end," he added.

By Quentin Reade

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