Aldi hikes drivers’ pay amid shortages

Lorry drivers have seen their wages boosted by one of the country's biggest supermarket chains as the grocery industry faces a total collapse of the supply chain.

Aldi has made the move amid a chronic shortage of drivers across the industry being blamed on the pingdemic and Brexit.


The Road Haulage Association (RHA) estimates there is currently a shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers across the UK at the moment.


Aldi's pay rise comes after Tesco started offering drivers a £1,000 bonus for candidates who join before September 30.


Before the rise, Aldi paid drivers between £14.15 and £15.34 per hour for day shifts, and £16.98 and £18.41 per hour for night shifts.


The Times reports the supermarket giant has pushed through a wage rise to maintain its position as the highest payer in the industry, and to prevent its drivers from being poached by other firms.


RHA says that before the pandemic there was about 60,000 vacancies, with Brexit causing tens of thousands of people from EU states to leave the UK.


Additional bureaucracy at the border also means it's more difficult for European hauliers to drive in and out.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA, spoke out last week, saying: "In the next two to three weeks we are facing a collapse of the supply chain meaning even bigger gaps on supermarket shelves.


"We already have hauliers unable to move goods on a daily basis and we’re now facing a perfect storm."


The government has admitted it is "concerned" by pictures of empty shelves but ministers have also urged customers not to panic buy despite the limited amount of stock in some supermarket stores and branches in recent days.


Mr Burnett added: "This is a crisis on a scale we have never seen before in this industry and the Government is burying its head in the sand. It is not recognising the seriousness."


Tony Danker, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said: "The irony of all of this is that the Government said they were reopening the economy but the pingdemic is effectively closing it down.


"There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of businesses have been in touch with us to describe scenarios where the scale of people self-isolating, testing negative by the way but self-isolating, is so big that they are basically bringing core operations to a close."


Source: Media Wales