So, the head of the employers’ organisation for lorry drivers is pissed that the government won’t allow cheaper EU – ie, Visegrad – lorry drivers to come work in the UK post-Brexit. This means that those employers of lorry drivers will have to raise wages, suck back into the trade all those qualified but doing something more interesting. Plus spend more on training etc.
Oh dear, what a pity etc.
At which point wave the bloody shirt of the retail network entirely breaking down unless there are immediate and speshul visas for Visegrad lorry drivers.
So far so normal in political brinkmanship. At which point the P³ tells us that:
I have checked the story in Motor Transport, which appears reputable
First, it would seem as if a D notice has been issued to prevent this story being discussed. That the supply chain might get worse is not being mentioned in the media.
If the subject is subject to a D Notice – for non-Brits this means government censorship on national security grounds – then Motor Transport would not have been able to publish on it and also there’s going to be a knock on the door in Ely sometime real soon.
D Notices are comprehensive.
It’s also possible to wonder whether there ever would be a D Notice on a bit of scaremongering and strong arm tactics by an employers’ federation.
But, you know, conspirazoids and all that.
I just hope that it is understodd that the issue is Brexit though, because it is. This is not Covid issue. Time will tell.
Well, actually, given that the media has in fact been covering this:
Gaps on supermarket shelves are likely to continue for several months unless the government does more to tackle the labour crisis hitting haulage firms, suppliers have warned.
Logistics and hauliers’ organisations said August would be a pinch point in the shortage as workers take summer breaks, while firms offering bonuses and sign-on fees to recruit drivers were not helping matters.
It also found that supermarket group Asda had joined Tesco in offering a £1,000 signing-on fee for HGV drivers amid a shortage in qualified workers that prompted dairy group Arla to offer a £2,000 bonus.
That’s just the first two results for “HGV driver shortage” on The Guardian site. At which point we can put the D Notice thing to bed.
We might also note the following:
Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Cold Chain Federation, said the issue was getting worse: “We’re firefighting right now. We have got a lot of vacancies but also a lot of workers on holiday. We’ve got a short-term summer problem. We’re going to have interruptions on the shelves – we’re resigned to that.”
Rona Hunnisett, of Logistics UK, said there was “a pinch point with holidays. These guys have been working flat out since the start of the pandemic.”
She urged consumers to be patient and not overbuy: “There is plenty of stock in the supply chain, in all the warehouses. And plenty of fresh homegrown produce.”
At which point we might think that it’s not all that large a problem. And there’s also this:
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: “Government must rapidly increase the number of HGV driving tests taking place, fill gaps by providing visas for EU HGV drivers, and also look for a longer-term solution to this issue.”
Driving tests. For how long have the training schemes and test centres been closed? A year and more you say? So we’re going to be short by a year and more’s new entrants into the trade, aren’t we?
Which is another one of those little details which seems to have slipped through that non-existent D Notice.
Still, at least we’ve this fun to consider. The Motor Transport piece was July 27th. The two Guardian pieces are Aug 2 and Aug 3. But there’s a D Notice preventing the media from discussing this.
Perhaps the biggest shortage is tin foil – hats for the making of – in Ely?